Ogun tribunal dismisses application seeking to join suit against Akinlade
Tiamiyu Saheed Oluwatosin
An application filed by some governorship candidates to be joined in the Ogun Governorship election petition tribunal between Hon. Adekunle Akinlade of the Allied Peoples Movement (APM) and Gov Dapo Abiodun of the All Progressives Congress (APC) has been dismissed.
Press learnt that seven 2019 governorship candidates in Ogun State under the aegis of the League of Registered Political Parties had on August 23 sought the permission of the tribunal to be joined as interested parties in the petition.
The applicants submitted their application barely one week after the counsels in the petition had adopted their final written addresses on August 19.
Despite having knowledge that the tribunal had reserved judgement in the petition with suit number EPT/OG/GOV/01/2019, the candidates and the political parties that participated in the March 9 governorship election said they, “strongly believe that the decision of the tribunal will affect” them as ‘critical stakeholders’.
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The affidavit of support was deposed to by Otunba Adebayo Mosuro of Independent Democrats, on behalf of other governorship candidates that contested the 2019 Governorship election in Ogun.
When he was speaking on the late submission of application to the suit, Mr. Moshood Adesina of the Mega Party said, the parties had exploited many out-of-court settlement approaches to plead with the appellants to allow Gov Abiodun, focus on giving the electorate dividends of democracy.
He said since the petitioners had refused to withdraw the petition from the tribunal, the registered political parties decided to resort to legal means of seeking judgement.
It will be recalled that the same League of Registered Political Parties had on July 2 told Akinlade to withdraw his petition against Abiodun, from the election petitions tribunal.
On Friday, the tribunal reconvened to hear the application of the said governorship candidates.
It, in spite of that, turned out to be a dramatic session as counsels to Abiodun, the APC and the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) joined counsel to Akinlade, Isiaka Olagunju, in opposing the application.
Olagunju had in a reply to the application asked the tribunal to impose fines on the applicants and their counsel, who he accused of abuse of court processes.
For the first time, counsels to the petitioners and the respondents agreed in opposing an application which they said was unknown to the electoral act; accusing the applicants of trying to arrest judgement and waste the time of the tribunal.
The applicants admitted that the application was filed in error and withdrew same with apologies.
Ruling on the application, the Justice Yusuf Halilu-led tribunal dismissed what he described the ‘invented application’, after issues had been joined; while also appreciating the fact that the applicants displayed maturity by wasting no time to withdraw same.
Halilu appealed to Olagunju, who had earlier prayed the tribunal to award N10m cost against the applicants, to forgive them.
Meanwhile, the tribunal said it would deliver two rulings and the main judgement of the governorship election petition at 10am on Saturday, September 14.
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