Election Petitions Tribunal sitting in Isabo area of Abeokuta, the state capital yesterday upheld the election of Governor Ibikunle Amosun in the April 11 poll.
The tribunal dismissed the petition filed against the electoral victory of Amosun by the candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Gboyega Nasir Isiaka for want of evidence.
The three-man tribunal headed by Justice Henry Olusiyi held that the petitioners, Isiaka lacked evidence to support his allegation of massive rigging and electoral malpractices in the April 11th 2015 election.
The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) governorship candidate at the poll, Gboyega Nasir Isiaka had on April 30 filed his petition ‘EPT/GOV/ABK/001/15,’ before the tribunal, challenging the victory of Amosun, who contested as the All Progressives Congress (APC) governorship candidate.
Isiaka had alleged that the votes credited to Amosun by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) in nine out of the 20 local governments of the state were mared with fraud, malpractices, ballot snatching, ballot stuffing and outright rigging and as such, invalid to secure him any victory at the poll.
He further alleged that the election was characterized by substantial non-compliance with the provisions of the Electoral Act 2010 as amended.
Isiaka in the petition however, prayed the court to declare him as the winner of the election having scored the highest number of valid votes cast at the governorship election.
But delivering judgment amidst tight security yesterday in Abeokuta, Chairman of the tree-man tribunal, Justice Henry Olusiyi held that the claims of the petitioner were largely unsubstantiated and the proofs grossly insufficient to support his allegations.
He further stated that the responsibility of proving the invalidity of the votes credited to Amosun which rested on the petitioner was not properly discharged.
Justice Olusiyi further said that the principal witnesses of the petitioners only made averments without evidence.
The tribunal chairman ruled that the petitioners failed to prove their case either on balance of probability or beyond reasonable doubt.
“Averments without evidence is deemed to have been abandoned. Pleadings do not constitute or tantamount to evidence,” he said while citing relevant sections of the Evidence Act.
He noted that although the petitioners alleged several irregularities in nine local government areas of the state, they led oral evidence only in 12 polling units.
“The petition filed by the petitioner on the 30th of April is hereby dismissed. The election of the respondent (Amosun) is hereby affirmed,”