Kemi Olaitan in Ibadan
The Oyo State Governorship Election Petition Tribunal Monday, dismissed an application filed by the gubernatorial candidate of the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) in the state, Mr Adebayo Adelabu, to recount all the paper ballots used in the March 9th election.
Adelabu and the APC are challenging the declaration of Mr. Seyi Makinde, the governorship candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) as the winner of the election in Oyo State.
Adelabu through his counsel, Mr. Titus Asaolu (SAN), had filed an application seeking to recount all the paper ballots used in the election.
The three-man panel chaired by Justice Sirajo Muhammed, while delivering its judgment, dismissed the application, adding that it would jeopardise the respondents’ right to fair hearing.
Justice Mohammed, who read the ruling, said the petitioners were only challenging the result of few local governments in the conduct of the governorship election and not all the 33 local governments of the state.
He said filing an application now to count all the paper ballots used in the election would amount to amending the petitioners’ pleadings, stating that the time allowed to amend pleadings of all parties has elapsed and no pleadings can be amended at this stage.
He added that the petitioners were also not consistent on the date the election was conducted as they were quoting different dates in their application.
The judge then dismissed the application and fixed June 10th for the commencement of hearing, adding that pre-hearing has ended.