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Ajeromi Federal Counstituency: Hon. Rita Orji concludes submission as tribunal adjourns till Sept.11

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By Olanrewaju Adesanya

Hon. Rita Orji the Peoples Democratic Party’s candidate for Ajeromi Federal Counstituency,who petitioned the House of Representatives Election Petition Tribunal sitting at the Ikeja High Court annex, challenging the Independent National Electoral Commission over the cancellation of February 23rd election of the House of Reps,has finally tendered her submission as the tribunal adjourns till September 11.

The Chairman of the tribunal,Justice Amidu Kunasa adjourns the session after the INEC’s counsel Mr. Femi Oshinowo cross examined the petitioner Hon. Rita Orji,dissecting her documented submission for over an hour.

Oshinowo queried that the claims of the petitioner were only based on unverified reports by party agents about all the units,while Rita further noted that but for the Electoral Officer who singlehandedly cancelled the Reps election and bolted away with some results,rerun would not arise at all .

The INEC’S lead counsel also pointed out to the petitioner that INEC has a directory for Ajeromi Federal Counstituency which states that there are 734 polling units(600 polling units and 134 voting points) there which counters her claim to be 1127 polling units and voting points.

He also put it to the petitioner that in 19 polling units being contended for,that the registered voters are 12,446 and the margin of difference is 3241 voters.

The petitioner maintained that a total of 1220 votes was removed from the votes supposedly garnered and 887 votes from the second respondent’s,Hon.Kolawo Taiwo.

She also noted that INEC stance of cancelling the House of Reps election on account of violence,late arrival of results, over voting and none usage of card readers,while that of the Senate and Presidential held simultaneously were declare is done to twist things up.

Oshinowo however notes that the cancellation of the election was valid, because the 71 polling units has 41,370 registered voters while the difference is 3224 votes and according to electoral law which posits that once the number of registered voters is more than the margin between the contending parties the election is inconclusive.

The hearing became a stormy session when the petitioner in defence claimed that but for the cancellation she would have polled 34,790 votes,while the second respondent’s would have polled 31549 votes, as the electoral officer in question allegedly went away with results of three wards not released till date she claimed.

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