The Gubernatorial Election Petition Tribunal sitting in Ibadan, Oyo State, on Friday, dismissed the petition filed by the Action Alliance challenging the victory of Governor Seyi Makinde in the March 18 governorship election.
It was gathered that a three-member panel of the court led by Justice Ejiron Emudainohwo dismissed the case after the petitioner’s lawyer, Etibo King, announced the withdrawal of the petition.
Counsel to the governor, Kunle Kalejaiye, SAN, said it was the final end of the petition brought by AA against the emergence of the governor during the election.
He said, “We have responded to the petition, only for us to come this morning (Friday) and find out that the party and the candidates claimed that they have looked at the petition again and they are not sure that they will succeed. They brought an application to withdraw the petition. We are convinced that it was when they saw our response to the petition that they made up their minds on the unavailability of the petition because we attached our petition on 18 grounds and that communicated what happened today.”
Kalejaiye said, before the ruling was read, that the electoral act should be amended to create a threshold for candidates or political parties that would file petitions before the election tribunal must have scored at least a quarter of all the total votes cast during the conduct of the poll.
Also speaking, the petitioner’s counsel, King, said what happened before the tribunal on Friday, was not a judgement but a ruling on their application to withdraw their petition in the interest of justice, peace and tranquillity in the state.
King stated, “The panel dismissed our petition based on our application for withdrawal.”
The Tribunal, therefore, dismissed the petition and awarded costs against AA to the first respondent, the Independent National Electoral Commission, a sum of N100,000; the second respondent, Governor Makinde, a sum of N250,000; and the third respondent, the Peoples Democratic Party, a sum of N250,000.