Former Majority Leader of the House of Representatives, Hon. Mulikat Akande-Adeola, on Wednesday had her petition against the victory of Labour Party (LP), Ebenezer Ogunwuyi, dismised by the Election Petition Tribunal handling National Assembly election petitions in Oyo State.
Akande-Adeola was the candidate of the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) in the March 28 election in the Ogbomoso North/Ogbomoso South/Oriire Federal Constituency.
In her petition, she had urged the Tribunal to nullify Ogunwuyi’s election, claiming he did not validly resign his membership of the PDP before contesting under LP.
But the three-man Tribunal headed by Justice James Abundaga held that the petition was filed out of time, and was, therefore, deemed abandoned.
Justice Abundaga who read the judges unanimous decision, explained further that time is of essence in an election petition.
He said: “We are also bound by what the Court of Appeal and Supreme Court decisions were in different cases like the one at hand, especially recent court decision in Iyiola Omisore versus Ogbeni Rauf Adesoji Aregbesola.”
Akande-Adeola however told the press that she would appeal the ruling. “We are going on appeal”, she said
Ogunwuyi’s counsel, Oluwasina Ogungbade had argued that the petition was filed out of time (a day late) for the pre-hearing. But Akande-Adeola’s lawyer, Yunus Ustaz Usman, who is a Kaduna-based Senior Advocate of Nigeria (SAN), argued that the merit of the case should be looked into. Usman cited similar cases including the general rule principle of election petition matters to support his argument as he urged the Tribunal to dismiss Ogungbade’s application and let the matter be decided on its merit.