Tribunal Sacks Ondo PDP Lawmaker, Declares APC Candidate Winner.

The Election Petition Tribunal, sitting in Akure, Ondo State Capital, Wednesday nullified his election for alleged dual citizenship: one for the United Kingdom (UK) and the other to Nigeria.

Following his possession of dual citizenships, the tribunal said he was not eligible to contest for the February 23, National Assembly election since his allegiance lies with the United Kingdom.

Also, the three-man panel headed by Justice Nuhu Adi declared Albert Akintoye of the All Progressives Congress (APC) winner of the election, and ordered the Independent national Electoral Commission (INEC) to withdraw the certificate of return issued him and thereafter issue same to Akintoye.

The petitioner had wanted the tribunal to declare him winner of the election on the grounds that the first respondent, Gboluga, ineligible to stand for the election having sworn to an oath of allegiance to the United Kingdom as enunciated by section 66 sub section one of the 1999 constitution.

Also, he claimed that Gboluga was not validly elected by majority of lawful votes cast, and therefore should not have been declared winner of the contest.

The tribunal chairman, Justice Nuhu Adi, said the Ikengboju’s counsel did not oppose the evidence tendered by the petitioner that the PDP lawmaker swore to an oath of allegiance to the UK.

Besides, he said evidence of 15 witnesses called by the petitioner were insufficient to prove that the grounds of non compliance with the electoral laws substantially affected the conduct and outcome of the election.

However, Justice Adi said in line with extant laws the tribunal was convinced that Gboluga was not eligible to run for the election and therefore nullified his victory

He, therefore, ordered INEC to issue the petitioner a certificate of return as the first runner up since the votes credited to Ikengboju had been a waste.

Akintoye praised the tribunal for granting his prayers, declaring his victory showed rule of law at work and promised to act immediate to enforce the judgement.

However, Gboluga’s counsel Olumide Ogunje said his client would appeal the judgement, even as the Ondo APC applauded the tribunal nullifying the election of Gboluga.

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