The Ogun State governorship election petition tribunal has dismissed as incompetent, the petition brought forth by Ladi Adebutu, the flag bearer of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) because it referred to the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC)’s result as “purported.”The petition by Adebutu had contested the legitimacy of the results declared by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) in March as the outcome of the polls against Governor Dapo Abiodun.
On Saturday, the tribunal concluded that Adebutu’s petition was fatally flawed on the grounds of incompetence hinged upon the fact that the petitioner’s case did not directly address the election results as officially declared by INEC. Rather, Adebutu’s petition had insinuated that the results were “purported,” which, in essence, suggested that he might have come before the tribunal to argue based on mere rumours rather than established facts.In its ruling, the tribunal asserted, “Petitioners have a duty, as outlined in the Schedule, to plead the election results as officially announced. Regrettably, the petitioners failed to fulfil this duty. Instead, they used the word ‘purportedly’ when describing the election results, a term that, according to the dictionary, implies unverified rumours.
Therefore, the court finds that the petitioners should have challenged the officially announced results, not unsubstantiated rumours.”Consequently, the tribunal arrived at a decision, deeming the petition as legally incompetent due to this fundamental flaw.INEC had declared that Abiodun won the election polling 276,298 votes against Adebutu’s 262,383.The solid ground upon which Adebutu built his petition, according to the court, will no longer matter because the legal team referred to the figures as “purported.”