The Election Petition Tribunal sitting in Osogbo, Osun State, on Monday, upheld the election of Babajide Omoworare as senator representing Osun East Senatorial District of the state during the March 28 National Assembly poll.
Delivering his judgment in the petition filed by the candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Prince Francis Adenigba Fadahunsi, chairman of the election tribunal, Justice A.G Kwajaffa, declared that Senator Omoworare scored the highest number of votes to emerge the winner of the eletion.
Prince Fadahunsi had approached the tribunal to cancel the result announced by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) which declared Omoworare the winner of the election on the ground that the election did not hold in some polling units in some local governments in the senatorial district.
He also alleged that there were violence and massive rigging in areas where the election was held in some of the wards.
In his 90-minute judgment, Justice Kwajaffa, who led two other judges, dismissed the petition for lacking merit as the petitioner could not prove allegation of violence and electoral malpractices during the election.
He maintained that the case was filed by the petitioner out of time as the date of filing exceeded the 21 days permitted by the electoral act.
The tribunal also held that the petitioner abandoned his pleadings as he could not prove the alleged malpractises which he said occurred in Ife East, Ife South, Oriade, Ilesa East, Ilesa West and Obokun local government areas.
According to Justice Kwajaffa, “the petitioner failed to call witnesses from polling booths and wards to substantiate his allegations that there were malpractices and violence in the areas listed in the petition.”
“The evidence of some of the witnesses was unreliable. We cannot agree with the evidence of a witness who was an agent who said that 161 votes is more than 164 voters accredited for the election.”
The tribunal also held that if the results of some polling units being cancelled were subtracted from the total number of votes declared by INEC, Senator Omoworare scored 100,148 votes against 98,116 votes scored by the petitioner.