The gubernatorial candidate of the New Nigeria People’s Party (NNPP) in Ogun state in the last election, Ambassador Olufemi Ajadi Oguntoyinbo, has commended the ruling of the elections petition tribunal, for granting the party’s request to inspect all Bi-modal Voter Accreditation System (BVAS) machines and other sensitive materials used for the elections over omission of the party’s name on the ballot paper.
The tribunal sitting in Isabo, Abeokuta, had granted all the prayers of the party in the motion ex-parte filed.
It would be recalled that Governor Dapo Abiodun of the All Progressives Congress (APC), was declared the winner of the March 18 gubernatorial election.
But the NNPP went to court to challenge the omission of its name on the ballot paper in the state, noting that this act disenfranchised its members, loyalists, supporters and the masses from voting for the party during the gubernatorial and state assembly elections.
The motion ex-parte was supported by an eight-paragraph affidavit deposed to by the state chairman of the party, Olaposi Oginni.
The NNPP had alleged that INEC did not include the name of the party on the governorship ballot papers as prescribed by the Electoral Act, urging the tribunal to allow it make photocopies, scan and record all sensitive materials used by INEC in the March 18 governorship election, ahead of its petition.
The party added that it would seek the nullification of the governorship election in the state due to the omission of its name on the ballot papers.
The Chairman of the tribunal, Justice Argum Ashom, while agreeing with the party on its prayers, said, “in that effect the reliefs are granted as prayed.”
Oguntoyinbo, while speaking on the development in a statement personally signed by him, lauded the tribunal for granting the party’s prayers over omission of its name on the ballot paper during the gubernatorial and House of Assembly elections in the state on March 18.
He disclosed that the party had earlier written a letter to INEC to ensure the inclusion of its name on the ballot paper, but the electoral body in its wisdom decided to rob the party of victory by refusing to correct the error, hence, the need to challenge it constitutionally by going to the tribunal.
He maintained that omitting the name of the party on the ballot paper disenfranchised voters in voting for the party, stating that it was a ploy to rob him and the party of victory in the just conducted gubernatorial and state assembly elections.
Oguntoyinbo then called for the cancellation of the March 18 election and conduct of another election so that the party’s name will be properly inscribed on the ballot paper.