Immediate-past Oyo State governor Abiola Ajimobi has lost the move to win Ibadan South Senatorial District seat through the election tribunal.
The tribunal on Tuesday dismissed the petition of the former governor challenging the victory of Senator Kola Balogun in the senatorial district election.
It was part of the efforts of the former governor to attain relevance in national politics after he failed to grab a ministerial appointment in President Muhammadu Buhari’s cabinet, though he feigned dis-interest in a ministerial position.
The former governor was defeated by Senator Balogun of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in the February 23, 2019 National Assembly elections.
In a ruling that lasted about three hours, a three-man panel led by Justice Anthony Akpovi dismissed Ajimobi’s petition and held that he failed to prove all the allegations of corruption against the lawmaker.
Justice Akpovi noted that a margin of 13,502 votes between the votes cast for Senator Balogun and the former governor, adding that the discrepancy of 11,759 votes alleged by the APC was far lesser than the difference.
He held that even if the 11,759 was deducted from the total difference of 13,502 votes, Senator Balogun still led by 1,743 votes.
The judge also stated that the APC candidate rested his case on card reader malfunction but the tribunal held that a card reader malfunction cannot invalidate the accreditation of voters.
He, thereafter, dismissed the petition challenging the election of the lawmaker.
In a related development, the tribunal in another judgement delivered earlier by Justice Sambo Daka upheld the victory of Senator Fatai Buhari in the Oyo North Senatorial District election.
It dismissed the petition filed by a former Majority Leader in the House of Representatives, Mulikat Adeola Akande, challenging Buhari’s election.
Justice Daka held that Hon. Akande and her party, PDP, failed to prove their case beyond reasonable doubts to warrant cancellation of the election held in the senatorial district.