Osun tribunal dismisses APC, Oyetola’s objection

Gboyega Oyetola, Governor of Osun State.
Gboyega Oyetola, Governor of Osun State.

The Osun State Governorship Election Petition Tribunal sitting in Abuja on Friday held that the petition of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), and its candidate, Isiaka Adeleke, challenging the victory of the All Progressives Congress (APC) and Governor Gboyega Oyetola has merit.

A three-member panel of the tribunal held that the petition has merit and accordingly dismissed the objections filed by Governor Oyetola, APC and the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC).

Mr Adeleke and the PDP in their different petitions had urged the tribunal to declare that he scored the highest lawful votes in the election and should be declared as the winner.

However, Mr Oyetola, APC and INEC filed their notices of preliminary objection against the petition on the grounds that the petition is incompetent. They said the court lacked jurisdiction to entertain the petition.

Delivering the‎ lead ruling of the three-member tribunal, the chairman, Ibrahim Sirajo, held that the objections were misconceived and struck them out.

The tribunal also faulted INEC handling of the relevant documents.

The tribunal said that the CTC should and must be exact replicas of the EC8A pink copies. The discrepancies must, therefore, be explained and justified by the 1st respondent: INEC.

In this instant, INEC failed to explain nor justify the alterations and failed to call any witnesses to justify the alterations.

It held further that the attempt to explain the alterations on the basis of mere correction of errors is not acceptable and the fact that the said errors were consistently made in the disputed areas means it was a deliberate action taken.

However, the court is yet to deliver its judgment on the main suit of who the true winner of the election is. The judgement on the main suit will be delivered later on Friday.

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