The Court of Appeal sitting in Ibadan, the Oyo State capital, on Wednesday dismissed the appeal filed by Hon. Kolapo Osunsanya of the All Progressives Congress (APC) challenging the September 9 verdict of the National Assembly Election Petitions Tribunal sitting in Abeokuta, the Ogun State capital, in favour of Barrister Taiwo Shote of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP).
With today’s judgment of the appellate court, which is the final court in National Assembly election matters, Osunsanya ceases to be a member of the House of Representatives untill the partial rerun is held and a valid winner is returned.
In an appeal filed by Osunsanya, he challenged the verdict of the lower tribunal in favour of PDP’s Shote.
Delivering the judgment of the Court of Appeal today, the Chairman of the three-man panel and Presiding Judge of the court, Honourable Justice Jimi Bada, held that the lower court tribunal did not err in its judgment as claimed by Osunsanya in his appeal, saying the tribunal is justified to act in compliance with the Electoral Act 2010 as amended.
Furthermore, he said one can hardly fault the decision of the tribunal and declared that Osunsanya’s appeal challenging the judgment of the election petition is lacking in merit.
The court held that the reply of the appellant (Osunsanya) was vague in response to the issue of cancellation that was properly pleaded by the petitioner (Shote).
In all, the court dismissed Osunsanya’s appeal and affirmed the judgment of the tribunal.
Recall that the National Assembly Election Petitions Tribunal had on 9th of September, 2019, declared that Osunsanya was not duly elected and nullified the Certificate of Return issued to him by INEC.
The tribunal also ordered that a rerun should be conducted within 90 days in Ward 5, Unit 5 in Ijebu Ode Local Government Area; Ward 10, Unit 3 in Odogbolu Local Government Area and the entire Ward 8 in Ijebu North East Local Government Area.
Shote and Osunsanya had contested the 23rd February, 2019 National Assembly election for Ijebu Central Federal Constituency which comprises of Ijebu Ode, Odogbolu and Ijebu North local government areas.