The Ogun State Election Petitions Tribunal has dismissed the petitions of New Nigeria People’s Party (NNPP) and Action People’s Party (APP) against Governor Dapo Abiodun, his political party, the All Progressive Congress, APC and Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC over the outcome of the state’s 18 March governorship election.
The tribunal, chaired by Justice Hamidu N. Kunaza dismissed the petitions for lacking merit in its entirety following application for withdrawal from the lawyers to both parties.
In a similar manner, the tribunal also dismissed application by the national leadership of the NNPP through its legal adviser for a change of counsel representing the party at the governorship election petition tribunal.
The tribunal posited that no document has been filled before it by the National Working Committee of the party informing it of the plan to change the counsel for the party at the tribunal.
NNPP had in its petition alleged that its name was omitted on the ballot paper.
Speaking with journalist, lawyer to NNPP Peter Ogah Esq hinted that the withdrawal becomes necessary because the party won in some states during the presidential election and the same ballot paper was used to conduct governorship election.
“NNPP has formally withdrawn their petition. On the 20th of April the tribunal ruled that I remain the substantive legal counsel of the petition and the tribunal has determined it that Comrade Sunday Oginni remains the owner of the petition since he filed it and he is the only one who can withdraw the petition.
After resolving that, the tribunal went on to hear our application for dismissal which was granted by the court”
“Also, in the interest of the party and the good people of Ogun State, the NNPP have decided to withdraw our petition and we don’t have any pending petition,” he said.
Ogah, however, refuted claim that he collected money to withdraw the petition.
He added that the State Chairman of the party has the right has the right to file any petition in his state and not the national chairman.
He said the national and state chairman resolved to withdraw the petition for the interest of the party and the state.
Also speaking to journalists, The state chairman of NNPP, Com Sunday Oginni said he is happy to withdraw the petition.
“What happened today is to tell the whole world that the due process has been followed, and in order to move Ogun state forward, the best thing is to withdraw the suit because the same ballot paper we complained of was the same ballot paper our presidential candidate use to win in some Northern state,so going on with the petition is meaningless.
The counsel to the 2nd and 3rd respondents, Ganiyu Ogunsanwo prayed the tribunal to put the record straight on the withdrawal of the petitions.