ONDO, Nigeria – The Court of Appeal sitting in Akure, Ondo State has affirmed the election of a member of the House of Representatives, Mr Bamidele Salam.
Salam, who won on the platform of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), represents Ede North, Ede South, Egbedore, Ejigbo Federal constituency of Osun State in the lower chamber of the National Assembly.
The appellate court upheld his victory in the February 23 poll in a unanimous decision of three justices read by Justice Muhammed Danjuma on Friday in the Ondo State capital.
It quashed the decision of the Election Petitions Tribunal delivered on September 2 which ordered a fresh election in 12 polling units of the constituency.
Salam’s victory was challenged by Adejare Bello of the All Progressives Congress (APC) who secured the initial victory at the Tribunal which sat in Osogbo, the Osun State capital.
The appellate court, however, ruled that the Tribunal erred in law when it held that there was over-voting in the affected polling units which necessitated a supplementary election to decide a winner.
It stated that the Tribunal wrongfully applied the provisions of the Electoral Act in determining over-voting as the records presented before it did not prove the allegations of the petitioner.
The court also held that the fact that the PDP candidate led with 1,710 votes even after the wrongful cancellation of votes in the affected 12 polling units should have been taken into cognisance by the Tribunal rather than ordering a rerun election.
Reacting to the judgement, Salam dedicated the victory to God and the people of good conscience in the country.
He admitted that it was quite challenging to have gone through all the stress but insisted that it was for a purpose which God knew.
“I can only show my gratitude to God and my constituents by dedicating myself afresh to greater, better, and untiring selfless service,” the lawmaker said.