Appeal Court: Kashamu defeats Dapo Abiodun

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It was victory song for Senator Buruji Kashamu on Monday in Ibadan, Oyo State as the Court of Appeal upturned the October 9 judgement of the Election Petitions Tribunal sitting in Abeokuta, Ogun State which ordered a rerun in Ogun East Senatorial District.
The All Progressives Congress (APC) candidate, Dapo Abiodun, had challenged the victory of Kashamu, the PDP candidate, leading to the tribunal verdict.
The Court of Appeal reaffirmed and returned Kashamu as the senator representing Ogun East in the National Assembly.
In a unanimous decision, the three-man panel held that Kashamu’s appeal is meritorious and that he won the March 28 election.
Justice M.L Shuaib, who read the lead judgement, held that the tribunal erred and was partisan, adding that it descended into the arena of politics and scouted for evidence to nullify Kashamu’s election and truncate his victory.
The other judges are Justices A.G. Msheila and Ignatius Agube
Shuaib added that it was curious, illogical and perverse of the tribunal to place so much reliance on the evidence of a prosecution witness labelled as PW 44 and further admit as evidence documents that were clearly inadmissible under the law and also act on such evidence to truncate Kashamu’s victory.
According to the panel, PW 44, who posed as a forensic expert, had discredited himself during cross examination when he stated that anyone with prerequisite knowledge could do what he did and added that he had no degree in statistics.
“PW 44 sold himself out and the tribunal should not have held that he was an expert when he himself had agreed anyone could do what he did. No expert opinion is needed in this case since PW44 stated that anyone, even a layman could do what he did and he has no degree in statistics.
“There is no certification of the admitted print out by the said forensic expert so, it is not an exhibit and he also sold himself out when he stated that the Appendix A, B and C which was his report was printed from a computer but the tribunal held that it was PW44’s statement on oath and not a print out,” the panel stated.
The panel further held that the case of Abiodun and APC “is a non issue” as the material used to nullify the results of elections in some polling units and order re-election is inadmissible in law.
“The case of the first and second respondents (Abiodun and APC) in this appeal collapses like a pack of cards as the respondents fail to lay necessary foundation for the admissibility of the annexes. Exhibits A, B and C are expunged as inadmissible
“PW44 was a hatchet man brought to truncate the appellant’s victory and since his testimony is that he thoroughly analyzed some documents from INEC’s register and used a computer to draw a table and print it out, the annexes are indeed a printout.
“It is wrong of the tribunal to place so much reliance on the evidence of a discredited witness and use an inadmissible document to arrive at its judgement”
The three-man panel also adopted the same judgement for the cross petition filed by Abiodun.
In his reaction, Kashamu described the verdict as “a victory for democracy and the good people of Ogun East Senatorial District”.
He said: “I dedicate this victory to the Almighty Allah Sub ana wata’alla. I am happy at today’s verdict of the Court of Appeal. I am happy that justice has been served. I am particularly elated that the judiciary has, once again, risen to the occasion as the last hope of the common man. I am happy that despite the ills of our society, the judiciary still boasts of men and women of integrity and great courage who can resist filthy lucre and stand up for the truth and justice.
“I salute the good people of Ogun East Senatorial District who overwhelmingly gave me their mandate. I thank my party leaders, elders, associates and supporters, for standing by me all through the litigation. I thank my legal team, the media, clerics, the youths, students, artisans, okada riders, market men and women, for their best wishes, prayers and support.
“I promised them quality representation. We have began the journey and there is no going back. We are committed to making a difference – in and out of politics. I wish to appeal to my younger brother and friend, Mr. Dapo Abiodun, not to see himself as my opponent. Rather, he should join hands with me to take our senatorial district to greater heights. There is no victor, no vanquished. It was an electoral contest and someone was bound to be elected. This time, it has pleased the Almighty Allah to use the good people of Ogun East Senatorial District to give me their mandate. Next time, it could go to anyone else”.

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