The court of appeal sitting in Akure, the Ondo State Capital on Monday upheld the re-election of Governor Olusegun Mimiko.
The court dismissed the petitions of the candidates of the Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN) and the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in the October 20, 2012 governorship election, on the basis that they lack merit.
In a unanimous judgement, the Appellate court ruled that the appellants were unable to prove how injections into the voters’ register affected the governorship election result.
The PDP candidate, Olusola Oke and his ACN counterpart, Oluwarotimi Akeredolu, had in different appeals challenged the ruling of the Justice Andovar Kaka’an-led tribunal.
The tribunal had in its judgment struck out the petitions of the two candidates over their failure to prove their cases before it.
Dissatisfied with the ruling, Messrs Oke and Akeredolu approached the appellate court to seek redress and overturn the decision of the tribunal.
When the parties appeared before the five-man panel last Tuesday, Mr Akeredolu’s lead counsel, Akinlolu Olujimi had urged the court to uphold the appeal, arguing that the tribunal erred by dismissing the petition without considering the merit.
In the same vein, counsel for the PDP candidate, Nathaniel Oke had said the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) violated electoral laws on the voters’ registers hence the need for the appellate court to grant his prayers and give him judgment.
However, Mr Mimiko’s lead counsel, Wole Olanipekun, in his submission, told the court that “the appellant adumbrations had clearly showed the futility of the appeal.”
Relying on Section 19 and 20 of the Electoral Act 2010, he said the tribunal was right in its judgment that the opening of the soft copy of the voters’ register issued by INEC at its Stakeholders Meeting on 28th September, 2012 was a pre-election matter.