APC Vs PDP: Again, Jonson crushes Nnodim at tribunal
By Abolaji Adebayo
The judgement of the National Assembly Election Tribunal sitting in Ikeja has finally favoured Engr. Ganiyu Johnson of APC as the tribunal upheld his election while dismissing the petition filed by his contender, Hon. Emmanuel Nnodim and his party, Peoples Democratic Party (PDP).
The petitioners had filed petition against Johnson’s victory after the February 23,2019 National Assembly election and March 9 rerun election in which the APC candidate emerged as the winner to represent Oshodi-Isolo constituency II, claiming that the election was marred with irregularities, corrupt practices and non- compliance with the Electoral Act.
Giving the finally judgement in the petition EPT/LAG/REP/14/2019 on Tuesday, Justice S. I. Okpara said the petitioner failed to prove the allegations of malpractices and non-compliance beyond reasonable doubt.
According to the judge, the evidence tendered before the tribunal was based on hearsay which is not credible enough to invalidate the election.
The tribunal resolved all the issues against the petitioner and in favour of the respondent.
Justice Okpara said the tribunal after evaluating the evidence by both parties found that the testimonies of the respondent far outweigh those of the petitioner.
The judge said: “The evidence of the Petitioner’s Witness was hearsay and this tribunal cannot rely on hearsay. The petitioner has failed to prove the election conducted on February 23, 2019 and the subsequent rerun was riddled with corrupt practices, irregularities and non-compliance with Electoral Act.
“In the light of this, we find no merit in this petition and it is hereby dismissed.”
It would be recalled that Hon. Ganiyu Johnson had been earlier declared the winner of the election held on February 23, 2019 with total votes of 19,426.
However, due to some perceived irregularities that marred the election at some polling units, there was rerun election to the Federal Houses of Representatives in 20 polling units and 28 polling units in Oshodi-Isolo constituencies I and II respectively that went simultaneously with the governorship and state house of assembly elections on Saturday, March 9, 2019.
Johnson, who earlier scored 19,426 votes to beat his PDP challenger, Hon. Emmanuel Nnodim with 15,872 votes, finally coasted home to victory after the announcement of the rerun results.
With the rerun election, Johnson got total votes of 21,484, while Nnodim eventually got 16,817 votes.
Responding to the final judgement, the elated lawmaker who was in court with other chieftains of the party including the immediate past APC Chairman in the state, Prince Henry Ajomale, described the verdict as victory for democracy and the people of the constituency who voted massively for him in the election.
He said the affirmation of his election would spur him to deliver more qualitative representation for the people of his constituency, assuring them that better days were ahead.
“This is democracy at work because the judiciary has also attested to that with this landmark judgement. With this victory, our constituents should expect a lot of economic growth and infrastructural development in the environment. I want to thank everyone who has been part of this success. I also want to thank my party because without that platform, I would not be here. I specifically want to thank our national leader, Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu who is my mentor, my father; who has been with me before, during and after this election. And all the people of Oshodi-Isolo, I thank them all.”