APPARENTLY emboldened by the travails of Prince Buruji Kashamu, the Senator-elect, Ogun East Senatorial District who is facing extradition battle, his main rival, Prince Dapo Abiodun has intensified effort to get his (Buruji’s) election upturned at the State Election Petition Tribunal, sitting in Abeokuta.
Abiodun, who contested the March 28, 2015 election on the platform of the All Progressives Congress (APC) argued that the people voted for him but that the Peoples’ Democratic Party (PDP) allegedly manipulated the process.
The APC candidate who assembled a team of lawyers led by some Senior Advocates of Nigeria (SAN) including Mallam Yusuf Ali, Ricky Tarfa and Abubakar Muhammed, launched the suit with a 285-page petition that contains exhibits from local and international sources.
The petitioner presented his case on two legs, against Kashamu’s actual qualification for the election and alleged irregularities and fraudulent manipulation of the electoral process in favour of the declared winner.
Apart from Kashamu, the petitioner also joined both the PDP and the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) as co-respondents.
On page 76 of the petition, under sub-title, “Particulars of Non Qualification”, the petitioner highlighted specific details of the alleged facts in issue that disqualified the Senator-elect from contesting the election.
Specifically, the petitioner contended that having been duly indicted by a Grand Jury in the United States of America (USA) Federal Circuit for trafficking heroine with an arrest warrant being issued and still standing, the first respondent must travel to USA and clear his name before he could be deemed qualified to contest any election in Nigeria.
According to the petitioner, following Kahamu’s indictment by USA court, he was arrested in the United Kingdom (UK) but was released after five years on technical grounds.
“The United States of America Government has opposed various applications and desperate moves of the first respondent to quash the subsisting indictment and have invited the first respondent severally to answer to the indictment,” the petitioner averred.
The petitioner swore that the indictment of the first respondent by the US court and the warrant of arrest issued against him has been in the public domain for sometime as it has been subject of discuss in several seminars and publications.
Apart from challenging the qualification of Prince Kashamu to contest the election, Abiodun also averred wide spread irregularities and manipulation of the electoral process, the resolution of which should earned him the mandate.
The petitioner further contended that careful analysis of the allegation of malpractices and irregularities that characterized the election, among other things, revealed that the total votes cast were more than the accredited voters.
Consequently, the petitioner prayed the tribunal to declare among others, that Prince Kashamu is not qualified to contest March 28, 2015 election and that he was not duly elected contrary to INEC pronouncements as he did not win the majority of lawful votes in Ogun East Senatorial District and that he (the petitioner) should be declared the winner.