Senator Sharafadeen Alli (APC-Oyo South) has urged the National Assembly Election Petition Tribunal to dismiss the petition filed against him by Chief Joseph Tegbe of People’s Democratic Party (PDP) and its party with substantial cost.
This is contained in the joint final written address of Alli, APC and adopted on Thursday by his counsels before the lordships of the National Assembly Election Petition Tribunal sitting in Ibadan.
Alli, APC and INEC were the first, second and third respondent respectively in the petition filed by Tegbe and PDP.
It would be recalled that Tegbe, the PDP Senatorial Candidate for Oyo South in the February 25 National Assembly election had dragged Alli, APC and Independent Electoral Commission (INEC) to the tribunal over his loss.
Tegbe had argued that his election was due to over-voting in some polling units, calling for cancellation and rerun of the election in the 45 polling units.
But Alli in the joint address, said the petitioner had failed to establish that he did not score the majority of votes cast at the election, describing Tegbe’s action as mere academic exercise.
He said that the petitioners also failed to proof over-voting in the polling units alleged and failed to demonstrate that the alleged over-voting inured him as well as the APC.
Alli stressed that the spurious over-voting could be for any of the candidates, either the petitioner, respondent and any other contestant in the election.
He said it was evident that the
petitioners could not establish the complaint in the petition and failed to prove the petition as it is.
The lawmaker said that there was no duty on them to call witnesses to disprove what has not been proven.
Alli said that the petitioner ought to have concentrated on the duty imposed on them by law by discharging the burden of proof which they have failed to do.
“We cannot be dragged into dissipating energy to disprove a petition that has not been proved.
“The petitioners witness clearly fell below the standard expected to sustain the reliefs sought in this petition having cross-examined the witnesses of the petitioners.
“The respondent have extracted sufficient evidence which nailed the coffin of the petition of the petitioners which in law was dead on arrival,” he said.
The lawmaker said the petitioner had failed to satisfy the Honourable tribunal that the alleged over- voting, though not conceded, was traceable to the first and second respondents.
He said that the petitioners have not creditably made out case for any election in the senatorial district, urging the lordships to disregard their argument.
Alli urged the lordships to dismiss the petition in the interest of justice, saying the petitioners have not established any fact to justify the reliefs sought.
“The appellant/petitioner failed to prove its case to be entitled to the reliefs sought by it.
“We therefore urge your lordships to disregard the argument of the Petitioners and dismiss the Petition with substantial cost,” he said.
The first and second respondents’ counsels are Mr Yusuf Alli, SAN; Mr Kolawole Eleja, SAN; Mr Kazeem Gbadamosi, SAN; Mr Adeboye Sobanjo, Mr Lawal Saliu, Prof. Yahya Hambali, Mr Wahab Ismail and Dr. R.O. Abdulkadir.