…As Tribunal Dismisses Oyetola’s Objection
The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) has been declared winner of the Osun State Governorship election by the Election Petition Tribunal sitting in Abuja on Friday, March 21.
The tribunal held that the petition of the 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 subsequently 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 (Adeleke) scored the highest lawful votes in the election and should be declared 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’s handling of the relevant documents. It held 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.