PDP's Governorship Victory in Osun Shaking as Tribunal Compels INEC to Produce Adeleke’s Academic Certificates

PDP's Governorship Victory in Osun Shaking as Tribunal Compels INEC to Produce Adeleke’s Academic Certificates

  • The tribunal hearing the petition of Governor Oyetola and the APC against the victory of the PDP's Ademola Adeleke in the 2022 governorship election sat on Wednesday, November 16
  • At the resumed sitting, the counsel representing Oyetola secured a temporary victory against Adeleke and the PDP as the tribunal compelled INEC to produce the governor-elect's certificates
  • The tribunal which rejected the argument of Adeleke's lawyer thereafter adjourned further hearing until Monday, November 21

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Osogbo, Osun state - The Osun Election Petitions Tribunal has granted a subpoena compelling the Resident Electoral Commissioner (REC) for Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) in the state, to produce the nomination form and academic certificates used by Sen. Ademola Adeleke in the 2022 governorship election.

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Recall that Governor Adegboyega Oyetola and his party, the All Progressives Congress (APC) had on Friday, August 5, submitted a petition before the tribunal in Osogbo.

Osun Election Petition Tribunal/Adegboyega Oyetola/Ademola Adeleke/INEC
Governor Oyetola wants the tribunal to overturn the victory of Senator Adeleke in the 2022 Osun governorship election. Photo credits: @GboyegaOyetola, @AAdeleke_01
Source: Twitter

Oyetola and APC are challenging the election results from 749 polling units across 10 local government areas of the state for various alleged electoral malpractice, especially over-voting.

INEC had declared Adeleke as the winner of the July 16 governorship election, having polled 403, 271 votes against 375,027 polled by Oyetola.

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Osun tribunal: What happened on Wednesday

At the sitting on Wednesday, November 16, Counsel for Oyetola and the APC, Saka Layoonu (SAN), informed the tribunal that the petitioners had filed a Subpoena dated Thursday, November 3, compelling REC to appear before it, Vanguard reported.

Layoonu told the tribunal REC is being expected to present Adeleke’s Form CF 001, being the nomination form and all its attachments, including the certificates used in the 2018 election.

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He said that since the bailiff has yet to serve REC with the Subpoena, even after being signed, he would be compelled to ask for adjournment till November 21.

INEC's lawyer objects to adjournment

However, Counsel to INEC, Paul Ananaba (SAN), objected to the application for adjournment, saying that it was clear evidence that the petitioners were not prepared for diligent prosecution of the petition, citing paragraph 18(11) of the Electoral Act.

Ananaba argued that REC being subpoenaed to bring the said documents was never mentioned in the petition.

He added that the request by the petitioners to call REC as a witness, without informing the tribunal earlier, had violated paragraph three of the tribunal pre-hearing reports.

The senior lawyer pointed out that the said paragraph three indicated that the tribunal must be furnished with a list of witnesses to be called 24 hours before the hearing day.

Adeleke's lawyer aligns with INEC's counsel

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Responding, Counsel to Adeleke, Niyi Owolade and that of the PDP, Nathaniel Oke (SAN), aligned with Ananaba’s arguments and prayed that the tribunal should dismiss the petition.

Layoonu, however, described the respondents’ arguments as baseless, saying that the question of not being diligent in the prosecution of the petition was just a blanket statement by the respondents.

He also referred to paragraph 69(vi) of the petition where it was expressly stated that the documents in question would be relied on.

Layoonu said that since the tribunal had not issued the subpoena, it could not have been served on the respondents.

The counsel then urged the tribunal to discountenance all the arguments of the respondents’ counsels.

Tribunal gives verdict

In his ruling, the tribunal Chairman, Tertsea Kume, granted the subpoena.

Kume said that the subpoena was issued by the tribunal on Tuesday evening and would subsequently be served on REC.

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He, then adjourned further hearing until Monday, November 21.

Oyetola versus Adeleke: Nigerians react

DeMos Ime said on Facebook:

"The matter of Adeleke's certificate had since settled by the supreme court. This one na academic exercise."

Andy Ibok said:

"That’s a pre election matter, it’s statute barred and the tribunal has no jurisdiction to entertain that! Osun people voted for Adeleke and those corrupt tribunal judges should take a chill pill!
"The constitution says attempted school certificate, first school leaving certificate or having worked for 10 years with no certificate qualifies you for an elective post!"

Engr Olaogun Timothy said:

"APC too desperate what has certificate got to do with somebody that won at the poll?..."

Marcus Malgwa said:

"Nothing can change the will of the people, Adeleke remains the people's governor."

I did not lose Osun governorship poll, Oyetola insists

Meanwhile, Legit.ng earlier reported that Governor Oyetola stated that he did not lose the election that produced Adeleke as the winner.

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He said this on Tuesday, November 15, in Osun during the inauguration of “Nigeria for BAT” to canvas for votes for Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu.

Oyetola, while stating that he did not lose the election, alleged that he was defeated during the vote-counting exercise.

Source: Legit.ng

Nurudeen Lawal avatar

Nurudeen Lawal (Head of Politics and Current Affairs Desk) Nurudeen Lawal is an AFP-certified journalist with a wealth of experience spanning over 8 years. He received his B/Arts degree in Literature-in-English from OAU. Lawal is the Head of the Politics/CA Desk at Legit.ng, where he applies his expertise to provide incisive coverage of events. He was named the Political Desk Head of the Year (Nigeria Media Nite-Out Award 2023). He is also a certified fact-checker (Dubawa fellowship, 2020). Contact him at lawal.nurudeen@corp.legit.ng or +2347057737768.

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