By Daud Olatunji
ABEOKUTA—The All Progressives Congress, APC, in Ogun State, has filed a petition before the state’s National Assembly Election Petitions Tribunal challenging the victory of Buruji Kashamu as senator-elect, in the senatorial election in Ogun East, on March 28.
The party, through its candidate, Dapo Abiodun, filed the petition yesterday, accusing the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, of manipulating the result in its favour during the collation.
Kashamu, candidate of the PDP, was returned elected and declared winner of the election by the returning officer of the zone, Professor Babatunde Ikotun, after polling 99,540 votes to defeat eight other candidates.
Abiodun was the first runner up in the election and Adegbenga Kaka of the Social Democratic Party was the second runner up.
In the petition, a copy of which was obtained by our correspondent, Abiodun argued that Kashamu was not qualified to contest the election and that he didn’t score the highest number of lawful votes as required by law.
The petitioner, who said he would rely on form EC8E (1) to prove his case, further alleged that Kashamu, his party, PDP, the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC and the state Resident Electoral Commissioner, who were joined as the 2nd, 3rd and 4th respondents respectively, failed to comply with all the electoral laws.
He prayed that, “The 1st Respondent, Prince Buruji Kahamu, was not duly elected by majority of the lawful votes cast at the election and therefore did not meet the requirements of the law to be returned as winner of the election.
“The election of the 1st Respondent, Prince Buruji Kashamu, is invalid by reason of substantial non-compliance with the provisions of Electoral Act 2015 (as amended), the Manual for Election Officials 2015, the guidelines issues for the conduct of the election and the law in the conduct of the election.
“The election of the 1st Respondent, Prince Kashamu is invalid by reason of corrupt practices and electoral malpractices perpetrated by the 1st Respondent in person and members and agents of the 1st and 2nd Respondents in the places mentioned in this petition.
“The 1st Respondent, Prince Buruji Kashamu was not qualified to contest the election.”
Abiodun urged the court to nullify all the results from polling units or wards where the requisite forms were not completed, dated, signed or stamped by the concerned officials.
The petitioner however prayed the court to declare Kashamu as not qualified to contest the Ogun East senatorial election, was not duly elected by majority of lawful votes cast during the election and that a declaration that the announcement of Kashamu as winner be annulled and set aside, the same being null and void.
However, media aide to Kashamu, Austin Oniyokor, had earlier said in a statement that his principal was prepared to meet any petitioner at the tribunal.
The statement said: “The claims by the APC are totally unfounded. Ordinarily, we would not have dignified them with a response. You can see that the statement is loud in noise and lacking in substance. If they say there was rigging and manipulation during the election, they should supply the details, rather than hiding under some nebulous excuses that say nothing.”