The Abuja Court of Appeal, on Wednesday, rejected the claim of vote manipulation made against Ogun State Governor, Dapo Abiodun, by the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and its gubernatorial candidate, Ladi Adebutu.
Adebutu and his party had responded to the defense filed by the governor and the All Progressives Congress (APC) regarding the challenge to the March 18 gubernatorial election outcome at the state’s election petition tribunal. In their response, they accused the governor and APC of engaging in vote-buying and intimidating voters during the election.
Subsequently, Governor Abiodun and APC submitted a request to the tribunal, seeking either the complete dismissal of the response or the removal of specific contentious sections.
The tribunal, in response, dismissed the accusation put forth by the petitioners, deeming it lacking in substance. The panel characterized the claim as a hastily constructed afterthought in reaction to Governor Abiodun’s own accusation of vote-buying during the election.
Unsatisfied with this decision, Adebutu and the PPD turned to the appeal court to challenge the ruling.
In its verdict, the specialized panel of the appellate court upheld that the allegations of vote-buying within Adebutu’s response were legally insufficient. Consequently, paragraphs 21, 22, 23, 24, 31, 32, 33, 36, 37, 39, 40, 41, 42, 43, and 44 of the petitioners’ response were dismissed.