Oyo Tribunal dismisses APC’s application to recount ballot papers

The Oyo State Governorship Election Petition Tribunal, on Monday, dismissed an application filed by the governorship candidate of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Adebayo Adelabu, to recount all the ballot papers used in the March 9 governorship election in the state.

Adelabu and the APC are challenging the declaration of Seyi Makinde, governorship candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), winner of the March 9, 2019, governorship election in Oyo State by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC).

Counsel to Adelabu, Titus Asaolu SAN, had filed an application seeking to recount all the ballot papers used in the March 9 election.

Justice Sirajo Mohammed, Chairman of the three-man panel, delivering ruling on Monday, dismissed the application, noting that it would jeopardize the respondents’ right to fair hearing.

The Tribunal Chairman remarked that the petitioners were only challenging the result of few local governments in the conduct of the governorship election and not all the 33 local government of the state.

Mohammed stated that filing an application now to count all the ballot papers used in the election would amount to amending the petitioners’ pleas. He maintained that the time allowed to amend pleadings of all parties has elapsed and no plea can be amended at this stage.

Mohammed said that the petitioners were also not consistent on the date the election was conducted as they were quoting different dates in their application.

The judge then dismissed the application and fixed June 10 for commencement of hearing, adding that pre-hearing has ended.