The National Assembly election petition tribunal sitting in Ibadan, the Oyo state capital has affirmed the victory of Senator Teslim Folarin representing Oyo Central Senatorial District under the platform of All Progressives Congress (APC) by dismissing the petitions filed by the immediate past occupier of the post, Senator Monsurat Sunmonu and Chief Bisi Ilaka.
Sunmonu, a former Speaker of the Oyo State House of Assembly and candidate of African Democratic Congress (ADC) and Ilaka who is presently the Chief of Staff to Governor Seyi Makinde contested under the platform of Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), has gone to the Court to challenge the victory of Folarin over what they termed as irregularities.
While dismissing the petitions, the election petition panel chaired by D. M. Igyusu, and read by Sikiru Owodunni, the-three man panel unanimously agreed that both petitions lacked merit.
They were of the opinion that none of the petitioners was able to proof their claims without doubt of over-voting and electoral malpractices, pleaded against Folarin’s victory
The court awarded cost of N20, 000 against the petitioners, in favour of all respondents; Folarin, Independent National Electoral Commission and the APC.
Folarin, a former Senate Leader and now Chairman, Senate Committee on Local Contents, praised God for the judgement and also thanked the judiciary for being the last hope of the common man.
He said the ruling repose the confidence he has in judiciary where justice, fairness and equity can be obtained.
He used the opportunity to eulogised members of his constituents for voting massively for him and was delighted that their decision to elect him has been affirmed by the courts.
He maintained that he has been in Senate for eight years as well out of government for another eight, and with this opportunity to return to the Senate, there are lots to be done to better the people of his Constituency and the state as whole.
He enjoined both petitioners to abide with ruling and respect the wish of the electorate, hence, join hands with him in moving the Constituency forward.
But, counsel to both Sunmonu and Ilaka said they had their client’s instructions to proceed on appeal against Folarin’s victory.