The National and state Assembly Elections Petition Tribunal sitting in Abeokuta, the Ogun state capital has cancelled the election of a Buruji Kasahamu, 234Forum can authoritatively report.
Kashamu, who’s still wanted in the United States on allegations of drug trafficking, claimed victory in the election conducted in Ogun East Senatorial District and has been representing the district, which is composed of mainly Ijebu and Remo ethnic nationalities, since the 8th Senate convened in June.
In his ruling, Justice Ebiowei Tobi led tribunal ordered re-run in 110 polling units be conducted within 90 days, following the APC candidate, Prince Dapo Abiodun’s petition against Kashamu’s victory.
While delivering the judgment this afternoon, Justice Tobi Ebimowei disclosed that there are some irregularities,some anomalies, added that, some of them have been proved while some are not proved.
He further stated that in some areas where the petitioner have been laid claims to the tribunal said the petitioner counsel has not been able to proof to be fundamental and substantial.
Ebimowei disclosed that only Ijebu Ode local government area is the only local government out of the nine in Ogun East that election results were not cancelled because the irregualrities are not much.
“We have to cancel in other local government because they are much more anomalies and irregularities in local government like Ijebu North,Ijebu East,Sagamu,Ikenne and Odogbolu,” the judge posited.
He however stated that having perused all the evidences before the tribunal,37,008 votes are hereby declared unlawful on grounds of proved irregularities.
Ebimowei also said the total valid and lawful votes for the first respondent after the deduction and adjustment is now 75,856 compared to 99,540 declared by INEC.
On the part of the petitioner, total valid votes is 70,677 compared to 84,001 recorded by INEC, added that the margin win votes is just 5,179.
“The first respondent did not score enough votes to be able to declared him winner,comparing the margin win vote to total votes of 37,008 that are invalid.
“For avoidance of doubt,we cannot cancelled the whole Senatorial election because of that and the margin of win is just 5,179 votes,it is not enough to declare him winner.
“The election is nullify in line with Section 140 (2) and 140 (3), but in this regard,we are looking at 140 (2). We hereby order fresh election in the affected polling unit, we do nit feel comfortable to nullify election in Ogun East Senatorial District.
“The election of the first respondent is hereby set aside as Senator representing Ogun East District and ordered that 3rd respondent conduct a fresh election into the polling units which elections have been cancelled and in doing that, must take cognisance of the lawful votes,” he declared.
The tribunal affirmed that the valid votes of 146,533 be aside while results from the 110 polling units that was called fresh election will be added to the already valid votes.
According to reports from some quarters, there was a wild jubilation by the people of the district after the news broke that Kashamu has lost at the tribunal. The people reportedly welcomed the ruling on Kashamu on the basis that he had initially used his wealth to purchase victory, thereby suppressing the voice of the majority of the constituents.
“Tomiwa Adefala, an APC sympathiser in the district, said he is particularly happy that Kashamu was not about to influence the decision of the tribunal.
“I am happy that Kashamu lost the case at the tribunal, but I am more happy that he didn’t use his money to influence the judges,” he said. “We welcome this ruling.”
This development comes days after the National Association of Nigerian Students (NANS) honored the Buruji Kashamu with a “Golden Man Of The Year.”
According to NANS, the award bestowed on Kashamu was for his “untiring, exemplary and compassionate leadership style which cannot be taken away from him.”