The National Assembly Election Petition Tribunal, sitting in Ibadan, the Oyo State capital, has dismissed the petition filed by Joseph Tegbe, the candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in Oyo South senatorial district, against the victory of Senator Sharafadeen Alli of the All Progressives Congress (APC).
Alli was declared the winner of the election held on Saturday, February 25, 2023, by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC).
Alli scored 111,513 votes, while Tegbe scored 92,481 votes.
Tegbe, who said that he was not satisfied with the results, then filed a petition against Alli’s victory at the election petition tribunal.
Tegbe asked the three-man tribunal, led by Justice A. M. Yakubu, to order a rerun of the election. He alleged that Alli failed to garner the majority of lawful votes in the election, which constituted non-compliance with the provisions of the electoral laws.
The tribunal, however, on Wednesday upheld the electoral victory of Alli, who is a former Secretary to the Oyo State Government.
Gists Villa reports that the tribunal dismissed Tegbe’s petition and ordered him to pay the sum of N500,000 each to the three respondents, namely Alli, APC, and INEC.
The tribunal held that the signatures of most PDP polling agents, who were witnesses during the election, did not match the documents signed at their respective polling units or the ones on their statements under oath.
The panel also stated that the witnesses did not provide means of identification, such as identity cards, that could show they worked as PDP polling agents on election day.
The tribunal noted that the petitioners failed to rely on the voter register to establish overvoting.
The tribunal also said the evidence presented by the petitioners was not credible.
“The petitioners have failed to present cogent, reliable, and compelling evidence sufficient to affect the results of the poll as declared by INEC,” the tribunal said, dismissing the petition.