Kashamu crushes Abiodun in A’Court
The Court of Appeal sitting in Ibadan on Monday declared Senator Buruji Kashamu as the winner of the Ogun-East senatorial election.
The appellate court set aside the ruling of the National and State Assembly Elections Petition Tribunal that sat in Ogun State, which nullified his election as a senator representing the district.
The All Progressives Congress candidate in the election, Dapo Abiodun, had approached the Justice Ebiowei Tobi-led tribunal to challenge Kashamu’s victory at the poll.
The tribunal had ruled against Kashamu’s victory, leading to his appeal.
Kashamu was elected on the platform of the Peoples Democratic Party.
In a unanimous ruling by the Appeal Court, the panel chairman, Justice M.L Shuaib, held that Kashamu’s appeal was worthy.
He, therefore, ruled that the decision of the tribunal, which ordered a re-election in 91 units of the senatorial district, be set aside.
The panel chairman also ruled that the tribunal committed an error in its earlier ruling, adding that it showed that the tribunal looked out for only the evidence of a witness to nullify Kashamu’s election as a senator.
He said that it was wrong for the tribunal to rely on the evidence given by a particular prosecution witness in taking a decision.
He said “PW 44 sold himself out and the tribunal should not have held that he was an expert when he had agreed that anyone could do what he did. No expert opinion is needed in this case since PW44 stated that anyone, even a layman, could do what he did and he has no degree in statistics.
“There is no certification of the admitted printout by the said forensic expert so it is not an exhibit and he also sold himself out when he stated that the Appendix A, B and C, which was his report, was printed from a computer but the tribunal held that it was PW44’s statement on oath and not a printout.
“PW44 was a hatchet man brought to truncate the appellant’s victory and since his testimony is that he thoroughly analysed some documents from INEC’s register and used a computer to draw a table and print it out, the annexes are indeed a printout. It is wrong of the tribunal to place so much reliance on the evidence of a discredited witness and use an inadmissible document to arrive at its judgment.”
In his reaction, Kashamu described his victory as one for democracy and the good people of Ogun-East senatorial district.
He said, “I dedicate this victory to the Almighty Allah. I am happy with the verdict of the Court of Appeal. I am happy that justice has been served. I am particularly elated that the judiciary has once again risen to the occasion as the last hope of the common man.
“I am happy that despite the ills of our society, the judiciary still boasts of men and women of integrity and great courage who can resist filthy lucre and stand up for the truth and justice.”
Kashamu also called on Abiodun to join hands with him in moving the senatorial district and Ogun State forward.
The Appeal Court is the highest authority as regards cases relating to National Assembly elections.