UPDATE: Tribunal Awards N50,000 To Aregbesola

scales-of-justiceThe Election Petitions Tribunal sitting in Osogbo, Osun State, has ordered the candidate of the Accord Party, Mr. Niyi Owolade, to pay N50,000 to the 1st respondent, Governor Rauf Aregbesola.

The petitioner was also ordered to N50,000 each to the 2nd respondent, the All Progressives Congress and the 3rd respondent, Independent National Electoral Commission.

It subsequently dismissed the petition filed by Owolade.

Owolade, through his counsel, Mr. Jacobs Adedayo, had at the resumed hearing on Thursday announced the withdrawal of the petition.

The counsel had moved a motion dated January 8 and told the court that the petitioner decided to discontinue with the case because the panel would not be able to conclude the mater within 180 days allotted to it by the Electoral Act.

The first respondent, Governor Rauf Aregbesola did not raise any objection to the application to withdraw the petition.

Aregbesola, who was represented by his counsel, Mr. Wale Afolabi, however, prayed the panel to award a cost of N5 million against the petitioner.

Counsel to the All Progressives Counsel, Mr. Basiru Ajibola, also did not object the petitioner’s application but he said all the grounds of the application were “ speculative, hypothethical, and calculated to scandalise the judicial process of the tribunal.”

The APC’s counsel asked for a cost of N10 million against the petitioner.

Counsel to the Independent National Electoral Commission, Mr. Ayotunde Ogunleye, also did not object to the application of the petitioner.

He described the petition as a gross abuse of court process which he said should not be tolerated.

He also asked for a cost of N25 million against the petitioner.

The tribunal frowned at the grounds upon which the petitioner based his application to withdraw the petition.

The chairman of the panel subsequently dismissed the petition and slammed a cost of N50,000 which he was ordered to pay to each of the three respondents.

It will be recalled that the panel had on Monday adjourned until January 28th for the adoption of written addresses by the parties involved in the petition filed by the governorship candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party, Senator Iyiola Omisore, to challenge Aregbesola’s victory.