The ruling All Progressives Congress (APC), Ogun State Chapter said the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and its Governorship Candidate, Hon Ladi Adebutu in the March 18, 2023 Governorship poll are on a wild goose chase at the Ogun State Election Petitions Tribunal.
Penpushing reports that All Progressives Congress (APC) made this submission in the final written addresses as respondents in the case brought against the party, arguing that the petitioners did an awful job and failed to prove their case.
The ruling party emphasized that the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) petitions rest on inconsistencies and distortions, stressing that this was glaring because Adebutu and his party presented tutored and unreliable witnesses.
Penpushing further reports that All Progressives Congress (APC) buttressing its claim pointed out that Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) relied on documents that contradicted their witnesses’ case, and presented experts whose testimonies and documents lacked probative value.
The ruling party argued that Adebutu and Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) who are accused of vote buying with credible evidence, have unclean hands and could not receive equity with those unclean hands.
Penpushing also reports that All Progressives Congress (APC) pointed out that out of the 87 witnesses of the petitioners, 38 stated they were polling unit agents but did not tender any evidence to prove their claim.
The party added the 49 who testified as voters testified the same thing word for word, making the same mistakes, thereby creating a situation where the tribunal ought to hold that their depositions were too obvious to be coincidental and were therefore unbelievable and of no probative value.
The Ogun State Governor Prince Dapo Abiodun and All Progressives Congress (APC) argued that the petition itself was based on provisions of the Electoral Act that do not support the margin of lead principle.
Penpushing reports that Abiodun and All Progressives Congress (APC) contended that while the margin of lead principle is rooted in section 134 of the Electoral Act, the petition is based on sections 24, 47, 51, and 62 of the Electoral Act.
The party relying on the Supreme Court verdict in Oyetola v. Adeleke argued that the petitioners did not prove overvoting, as Adebutu did not tender the BVAS machines for any of the 990 units complained about and did not even tender any BVAS machine.
Penpushing further reports that the ruling party while noting that the petitioners expressly stated that Governor Abiodun was duly sponsored by All Progressives Congress (APC), said Adebutu did not present any evidence to back his forgery allegation against Abiodun on West African Examination Council (WAEC) result
The respondents argued that while the petitioners claimed that Governor Abiodun should not be Governor because he had been convicted in Miami, United States of America(USA,) said the Peoples Democratic Party(PDP) provided no judgment in evidence of the alleged conviction.
Penpushing also reports arguing that non-qualification is different from disqualification, the respondents said that even if such judgment exists, it relates to events that purportedly happened 37 years ago, whereas a disqualifying conviction must occur within the last ten years preceding the candidate’s election.
The party added that while the petitioners claimed that Adebutu and Peoples Democratic Party(PDP) scored the majority of lawful votes after All Progressives Congress(APC’s) unlawful votes are deducted and their own excluded votes added, the complainants never proved the unlawful votes credited to Governor Abiodun or the source of their excluded votes, even as the figures in the petition (63,015 and 35,228) conflicted with the figures in their witness’ report (62,998 and 34,368)
Penpushing reports that on final note, while indicating that the petitioners provided no admissible evidence to prove their allegations of vote-buying against Governor Abiodun, the respondents drew the tribunal’s attention to the massive and proven details of vote-buying conducted by Adebutu during the election, which had been established in two police investigation reports and for which Adebutu (now at large) and other Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) chieftains are standing criminal trial.
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