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A'COURT UPHOLDS AJIMOBI'S ELECTION

By NBF News
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By OLA AJAYI
IBADAN-THE Court of Appeal in Ibadan yesterday upheld the election of Governor Abiola Ajimobi of Oyo State in the April 2011 governorship poll.

The Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, had filed a petition at a lower tribunal in the state challenging the affirmation of the Independent National Electoral Commission that the governor won the election.

The court dismissed the petition on the grounds that the petitioner did not prove beyond reasonable doubts the allegation of dual citizenship against the 1st respondent, Ajimobi.

While delivering the judgment, the presiding judge, Justice J.S. Ikyegh said he agreed with the lower Tribunal that the appellant did not provide any document to prove the allegation of dual citizenship.

The judgment which was delayed due to late arrival of one of the judges who was said to have taken off from Yola started about 3.45pm and lasted over 40 minutes.

Though, the presiding justice said they did not form a quorum, he said all members of the panel agreed on the judgment given.

The court, while dismissing the appeal of the PDP, said since there was no evidence that the 1st respondent relinquished his citizenship and acquired that of America, the appeal had no substance.

He said both parties in the appeal agreed that the 1st respondent is a Nigerian by birth and there was no proof that he acquired the citizenship of the USA as alleged by the appellant and he had the right to contest the election.

He said: 'Given the fact that the 1st respondent did not relinquish his citizenship status as a Nigerian, it is his birthright to contest the election. I hereby dismiss the case. The election of the first respondent is hereby upheld.'

The court also said that there was no way the appellant could win the case without pleaded documents to prove his case.

Reacting to the judgment, the Chairman of the Action Congress of Nigeria, ACN, in the state, Chief Akin Oke, and Mr. Michael Lana said they were happy adding that the judges did a good job.

Also, reacting, Governor Abiola AjimobiĀ  through his Special Adviser on Media, described his

victory at the Court of Appeal as victory of truth over falsehood.

The governor, who said he dedicated the victory to God and the people of Oyo State who voted him into office, said the judgment had further strengthened his belief in the judiciary as the last hope of the common man.

Governor Ajimobi, who hailed the judgment, said that it would further ginger him in his resolve at delivering excellent services, restoring the pace-setting status of the state and leaving it better than he met it.