NB247

Osun State Governor, Ademola Adeleke and his party, the Peoples Democratic Party have filed appeals against the January 27 judgment of the Osun State Governorship Election Tribunal, urging the Appeal Court to set aside the judge.

In separate appeal documents, the governor and his party faulted the tribunal’s decision, describing it as a miscarriage of justice.

The tribunal had sacked Mr Adeleke as governor and declared that Mr Oyetola scored the highest number of valid votes in the election.

The tribunal based its judgment on the conclusion that there was over voting in some of the polling units, as the number of votes exceeded the number of accredited voters captured by the BVAS machine.

In a 29-page appeal document filed on February 8, 2023, at the Appeal Court in Akure, Mr Adeleke, through his counsels, Ikpeazu Chambers, says there was no lead judgment as the third member of the tribunal did not express any opinion on the petition and called on the appeal court to set aside the judgment.

He prayed the Appeal Court to issue an order allowing his appeal and setting aside the whole decision of the tribunal.

He also urged the appeal court to strike out the petition for want of competence and jurisdiction, adding that in the alternative, the appeal court should issue an order “dismissing the petition on the merit.”

The governor and his counsels argued that “the decision purporting to be the lead decision of the lower tribunal did not comply with Section 294 of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, 1999(as amended)”

“The decision in favour of the petitioner clearly indicated on the first page that it was delivered by the chairman of the lower tribunal,” the appellants claimed.

“The second member of the lower tribunal never rendered a decision or opinion in the petition orally ot in writing.

“The second member of the lower tribunal could not have validly sign the decision of the chairman of the lower tribunal without an opinion.

“What was presented as the lead decision of the tribunal is a nullity in fact and in law, not lead decision of the lower tribunal.”

The appeal also faulted the tribunal for failing to strike out the issue of qualification of the governor to contest the election, given that the court of appeal in CA/A/362/2019 had determined the matter s laid it to rest in favour of the appellant.

On accreditation, the appellants argued that the case made out from the pleadings of the Gboyega Oyetola and his party, the All Progressives Congress(1st and 2nd respondents), was that the accreditation figured contained in the polling unit result sheets did not tally with the number of accredited and verified voters as accredited in the BVAS devices used in the disputer polling units.

“Strangely, the 1st and 2nd respondents did not rely on evidence of the accreditation data contained in the said BVAS devices,” Mr Adeleke and his counsels posited.

“Rather, they relied on the report of the accreditation data from the backend server of the INEC(3rd respondent).

“The 1st and 2md respondents did not even tender the BVAS devices.

“In view of the fact that the 1st and 2nd respondents jettisoned the BVAS devices upon which they erected their case as contained in their pleadings as petitioners, the tribunal ought to have dismissed their case.

“As demonstrated during the proceedings, the accreditation figured on the BVAS devices in the disputer polling units were different from the accreditation figured contained in the BVAS report relied upon by the 1st and 2nd respondents as petitioners.

“The tribunal ought to have held the respondents bound by the accreditation figured of the BVAS devices especially as this was their pleading.”

No date for definite hearing has been fixed by the court.

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