The Osun State election petition tribunal on Saturday in Osogbo accepted as exhibits the original copy of the nomination form and academic certificates filed by Ademola Adeleke for the governorship election of 2018.
Former Governor Gboyega Oyetola of the All Progressives Congress (APC), who won the previous election of 2018, is challenging the victory of Mr Adeleke in the election of July 2022.
Mr Adeleke of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) secured 403,371 votes to defeat Mr Oyetola who got 375,027 votes.
Mr Adeleke was sworn in as the 6th governor of the state last Sunday.
At a sitting of the tribunal on Thursday, a deputy director of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), Joan Arabs, presented Form CF001 containing blank West African Examination Council (WAEC) results and Testimonial of Ede Muslim Grammar School as the academic certificates presented to the commission when Mr Adeleke contested in 2018.
Following issues raised by the petitioner over the presentation, the panel ordered INEC to bring the original copy of the Form CF001 before it, threatening to invoke its ‘coercive power’ on the electoral body if it fails to present the original of the credentials submitted to it by Mr Adeleke.
At Saturday’s sitting, Mrs Arabs who represented the INEC presented the original document including the certificate.
Lateef Fagbemi, counsel to Mr Oyetola, upon checking through the certificate, said he was comfortable with it.
“We asked for the CTC and now that they brought this, we are fine, we will take it,” the lawyer said.
Ruling on the presentation of the document, the tribunal led by Tertsea Kume admitted Mr Adeleke’s academic credentials and his nomination form as presented by the representative of INEC and tagged the documents as exhibit ‘FILE D’.
After the tribunal admitted the documents, Mr Fagbemi informed the panel that he had decided to close his case, saying, “My Lord, we rest our case”.
The panel chairman, Justice Kume, subsequently adjourned the case till December 20 for the respondents to open their defence.
Mr Oyetola is challenging Mr Adeleke’s victory in the July election by alleging, among others, that the latter submitted forged educational certificates to INEC and that votes were inflated in some areas won by Mr Adeleke.
Although the tribunal is yet to rule on the matter, Mr Adeleke has been sworn in as governor as required by law.
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