|Senator Buruji Kashamu|
Senator representing Ogun East Senatorial district, Senator Buruji Kashamu, has said that the National and State Assemblies Election Petitions Tribunal did not nullify his election, noting that it only nullified the votes attributed to both candidates in 110 polling units out of 1,135 in the Senatorial District. He also claimed that the All Progressives Congress, APC, candidate in the Senatorial District, Mr. Dapo Abiodun, must not claim any victory because none was awarded to him.
Through a statement by his media aide, Mr Austin Oniyokor, Kashamu said; “Abiodun must be living in self delusion to have claimed any victory because none was awarded to him. Clearly, God is not mocked. It should be noted that it took him over 72 hours to say anything after the tribunal gave its controversial verdict.
“In its judgment, the tribunal said; ‘We do not feel comfortable to nullify the election in Ogun East Senatorial District when 146,533 votes are valid because of 37,008 unlawful votes. We nullify the election into the Senatorial seat in the following polling units and order a fresh election.’’
The implication is that Senator Kashamu is still leading Abiodun with 5,179 votes. So, how can someone trailing with over 5,000 votes be claiming victory? How can someone who was defeated by Senator Kashamu in his polling booth, ward and local government be claiming victory? It does seem to us that he wants to get through the back door what he could not get in a free and fair contest. “It is also very important to reiterate that the rerun was ordered in 110 out of over 1,135 polling units in the senatorial district. That is less than 10 percent of the polling units in the senatorial district.
Another reason we believe the tribunal’s verdict was a travesty of justice is: there is nowhere in the Electoral Act where an Election Tribunal is empowered to make order on a partial rerun of an election. So, for information, Senator Kashamu will remain in office. His certificate of return is still with him. It has not been withdrawn because there is no such consequential order.