The Court of Appeal Abuja has restored the vote-buying allegations made by the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and its governorship candidate, Oladipupo Adebutu, against Dapo Abiodun of the All Progressives Congress (APC).
The appellate court gave the ruling in an appeal filed by Adebutu and the PDP on July 6, which was heard on August 3.
The appeal was against the ruling of Justice Hamidu Kanuza of the Ogun State Governorship Tribunal delivered on June 19, on vote-buying during the March 18 governorship election in the state.
The tribunal had ruled in favour of Abiodun and struck out Adebutu’s reply to Abiodun’s reply to the petition.
Delivering judgement written by Justice Mohammed Idris and read by Justice Aliyu Waziri, the court sustained paragraphs 2, 4, 5, 6, 10, 11, 14, 15, 16, and 18 of Adebutu and PDP’s reply to Abiodun’s reply to the petition.
The sustained paragraphs of the petitioners’ reply border on the submission of a forged certificate to the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) by Dapo Abiodun, violence and disruption of polling units by agents of Abiodun and allegations of vote-buying.
Also, the sustained paragraphs include Adebutu’s defence on the allegation of vote-buying raised by Abiodun in his reply to the petition.
At the tribunal, counsel to the petitioners, Gordy Uche, had argued that the petitioners did not raise any new fact in their reply but gave a response to the new issue raised by the second respondent in his reply which was not part of the issues raised in the petition.
Abiodun filed a motion praying for the tribunal to strike out Adebutu’s reply to their reply to the petition, on the ground that they cannot raise new facts in their response to the reply of the second respondent.