By Suleiman Shehu
Ibadan – The National and State House of Assembly Election Petition Tribunal in Oyo State, on Saturday, dismissed the petition against the victory of a member of the House of Representatives, Hon. Oluyemi Taiwo.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that Prof. Joseph Olowofela of the All Progressives Congress (APC) had challenged the victory of Taiwo of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in the Feb. 23 election in Ibarapa/Ido Federal Constituency.
In the judgment which lasted for three and a half hours, the three-man panel of the tribunal, led by Justice Anthony Akpovi, unanimously dismissed the petition for lacking in merit.
The judgment, read by Akpovi, said that the petitioner failed to prove beyond reasonable doubt that the respondent did not win the election.
Akpovi said that the allegations by the petitioner covered many units in Ibarapa/Ido Federal Constituency, with nine witnesses called, out of whom three were subpoenaed from INEC.
The tribunal chairman said that the burden of proving the allegation of electoral malpractices, rather than non-compliance with the Electoral Act and cancellation of result, lied on the petitioner.
He said that the petitioner failed to call credible witnesses to defend his case, adding that no substantial proof had been given by the petitioner.
Akpovi said that the result of election presented by INEC was presumed authentic unless otherwise proven.
He said that the petitioner failed to discharge the burden of proof of electoral malpractices against the defendant.
The tribunal chairman then dismissed the petition for lacking in merit and awarded a cost of N150,000 against the petitioner. (NAN)