The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has appealed the judgment of the Osun State Election Petition Tribunal that nullified the victory of Governor Ademola Adeleke, in the July 16 governorship poll.
Recall that on January 27 in Osogbo, the tribunal declared the All Progressives Congress (APC) candidate, Adegboyega Oyetola as the winner of the election.
The chairman of the tribunal, Justice Tertsea Kume who stated that the election was marred by over-voting, thereby deducted the number of over-voting presented by Oyetola.
He said that having deducted the over-voting figure, Oyetola scored 314,921, while Ademola polled 290,266 votes. But in a minority decision, a member of the panel, Justice A. Ogbuli, dismissed APC’s petition and upheld Adeleke’s victory at the poll.
However, INEC, in the Notice of Appeal dated January 30, 2023, filed before the Court of Appeal, Akure Division, obtained in Osogbo on Wednesday, the commission listed 44 grounds of appeal and asked the court to set aside the judgment of the tribunal.
According to a report by Punch, the commission also urged the appellate court to declare that the petition filed by APC and its candidate at the poll, Adegboyega Oyetola, is lacking in merit.
In its Notice of Appeal signed by its counsel, Prof. Paul Ananaba (SAN) and 17 other lawyers, the commission said that the tribunal erred in law by claiming that Adeleke did not score majority of the lawful votes, saying the petitioners only called two witnesses who did not prove that the PDP candidate did not win the election.
INEC further argued that the tribunal erred in law by using a table contained in the final written address of the petitioners to determine over-voting and deducted votes scored by the respondent.
The electoral body also dismissed the tribunal’s claim that because it issued different accreditation reports, its conduct was tantamount to tampering with official documents.