Your appeal lacking in merit, ambitious – Abiodun, INEC, APC tell Adebutu, PDP


Governor of Ogun State, Prince Dapo Abiodun, the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) and the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) have described the appeal filed against the ruling of the Ogun State Governorship Election Tribunal by the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) candidate in the 2023 gubernatorial election, Ladi Adebutu, as lacking in merit and ambitious.

This is just as the Court of Appeal, sitting in Lagos on Tuesday reserved ruling in the appeal filed by Adebutu against the re-election of Governor Abiodun after listening to the argument of the parties.

Adebutu is challenging the 30th September ruling of the election tribunal which upheld Governor Abiodun’s victory at the 18 March governorship election in the state.

At the hearing of the appeal on Tuesday, the Court of Appeal
reserved judgement after the adoption of all processes by all the parties. The court said the date for judgement would be communicated to the parties and three days notice would be given.

Earlier, counsel to the appellant, Chris Uche, SAN, urged the court to grant his clients’ appeal and set aside the decision of the tribunal.
According to him, the tribunal erred when it failed to consider the case on its merit before proceeding to dismiss the petition before it.


In response, A.J Owonikoko SAN, urged the Court to dismiss the appeal for lacking merit. On the issue of 49,000 disenfranchised voters which appellant raised, he pointed out that appellants only called 48 witnesses instead of all the alleged disenfranchised voters whose disenfranchisement was to be proven.

He added that the Court cannot amplify 48 witness to 49,000 witnesses, as Appellants want

Similarly, appearing for the 2nd Respondent, Chief Wole Olanipekun, SAN, also urged the Court to throw out the appeal while identifying and adopting his brief.

He stated that contrary to the position set out by Chief Uche SAN, the decision in Atiku’s case completely encapsulates the issues in this appeal.

He argues that in that appeal, the Supreme Court simply adopted in toto the decision of the Court of Appeal delivered by this court.

He added that incidentally, the same Samuel Oduntan, who was rejected as a witness by the Court of Appeal in Atiku’s case metamorphosed as PW 93 in this appeal. In response to the Court, he undertakes to provide the court with a copy of the judgment

Olanipekun also identified about eight key findings of the Trial Tribunal that the Appellants did not challenge, adding that Appellants have abandoned about five Grounds of Appeal.

On the margin of lead, he contended that there is nothing for the Court to even consider. He urged the Court to dismiss the appeal for lacking merit.

In response, Dr. Onyechi Ikpeazu SAN, who identified 3rd Respondent’s Counter-Affidavit and Written Address filed on 8 November 2023, also prayed the Court to dismiss the application.

He pointed out that the appellants misstated the prayer in the motion because the prayer is to strike out the List of authorities.

Chief Chris Uche SAN and Chief Gordy Uche SAN appeared with Olumuyiwa Obanewa, O Lawal, and Abduljaleel Musa for the Appellants while A J Owonikoko SAN and Dr Remi Peter Olatubora SAN appeared with D O Atti-John and Chiamaka I Nwamanam for the 1st Respondent

Chief Wole Olanipekun, CFR, SAN, Prof Taiwo Osipitan SAN, Mrs Titilola Akinlawon SAN, Kehinde Ogunwumiju SAN, and Bode Olanipekun SAN appearing with Mrs Olayemi Badewole were for the 2nd Respondent while Dr Onyechi Ikpeazu OON, SAN, Tayo Oyetibo SAN, Otunba Kunle Kalejaye SAN, and Kunle Adegoke SAN appeared with Olanrewaju Baruwa, Mrs Ojuri, D D Owoeye, and Adeyinka Adegbite for the 3rd Respondent

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