Friday, June 14, 2019 1:48 pm
An Election Petition Tribunal, sitting in Ikeja, Lagos, today, struck out an application challenging the victory of a member of House of Representative, Honourable James Abiodun Faleke, representing Ikeja Federal Constituency, at the last general election.
The tribunal headed by Justice Kunaza M. Hamidu, struck out the application, following a motion filed by the petitioner, Mutiu Olakunle Okunola, candidate of People’s Democratic party (PDP), who contested with Faleke at the last election
Okunola who recently defected to All Progressive Congress (APC), had dragged Faleke alongside APC and Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) before the tribunal for reversal of Faleke’s victory and asked the tribunal to declare him as the winner of election.
At the resumed hearing of the application today, Okunola’s counsel, Owoyemi Ibrahim, told the panel that his client has decided to withdraw the application against all the respondents.
Ibrahim told the panel that in withdrawing the application he filed a motion pursuant to section 145(1) of the Electoral Act, 2010, with an 11 paragraph-affidavit deposed to by the petitioner, Okunola.
He therefore urged the panel to grant the motion and withdraw the application against all the respondents.
Responding, lawyers to Faleke and APC, Kolawole Salami and Ademola Adefolaju, who hold the brief of Mr. Gboyega Oyewole, a Senior Advocate of Nigeria (SAN), told the court that their clients are not opposing the petitioner’s withdrawal motion.
Both Salami and Adefolaju further told the tribunal that their clients have filed a nine paragraph-affidavit in response to the petitioner’s motion.
Equally, INEC’s counsel, Z. S. Makinde, despite not filing any affidavit, also told the court that his client is not opposing the motion.
Following the submissions of parties, the tribunal chairman, Justice Hamidu held: “having read through the petitioner’s motion dated and filed on 30th May, 2019, with the affidavit and written address. Also, having gone through the first and second respondents’ affidavits, leave is granted to the petitioner to withdraw his motion.
“Consequently, petitioner’s petition against all the respondents is hereby struck out”.