BY OLA AJAYI
IBADAN—THE hope of the Peoples Democratic Party in Oyo State to get the election of Governor Abiola Ajimobi annulled dimmed yesterday as the state Election Petition Tribunal refused its plea to invite officials of the United States of America to testify whether Ajimobi is a US citizen or not.
The party, after it lost governorship election to the Action Congress of Nigeria, ACN, candidate, filed a petition against the governor, alleging dual citizenship.
However, the panel adjourned the case after Mr. Nathaniel Oke, SAN, counsel to the petitioner sought adjournment because of ill-health of the Secretary of the party, Mr. Bashiru Akanbi.
Giving reason for the refusal to grant the application for the invitation of the US embassy’s officials, Chairman of the Tribunal, Justice Abdulkadir Mu’azu Pindiga explained that granting the prayer would be tantamount to ridiculing and undermining the judicial system in Nigeria.
According to him:“We must protect the integrity of our country and not subject the country to the whims and caprices of USA. There are other means by which the petitioner could pursue its case and get the desired result. The application is accordingly rejected because it is an exercise in futility and we lack the jurisdiction.”
Reacting to the ruling, Mr. Oke said it (the refusal to invite embassy’s officials) had altered the evidential procedure of the petitioner.
Director of Legal Services, Mrs. S. P. Adewale, said she had an uncertified copy of Ajimobi’s international passport that was issued on September 30, 2009, arguing that she could get document duly certified within a day.
Mr. Michael Lana is holding brief for Senator Ajimobi while Mr. Ahmed Raji is standing in for the Independent National Electoral Commission.