The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has appealed the judgement of the Osun State Governorship Election Petition Tribunal that declared Adegboyega Oyetola as the duly elected governor of the State in the July 16, 2022 election.
The Tribunal chaired by Justice Tertsea Kume had days ago nullified Governor Ademola Adeleke’s victory and declared Oyetola as the duly elected governor at the poll in its judgement of January 27, 2023 on the ground of over-voting.
But, in a Notice of Appeal dated January 30, 2023, filed before the Court of Appeal, Akure Division, Ondo State, and obtained in Osogbo, Osun State capital on Wednesday, the electoral commission listed 44 grounds of appeal and asked the appellate court to set aside the judgement of the Tribunal.
INEC also asked the court to dismiss the petition filed by the All Progressives Congress (APC) and its candidate at the 2022 Osun governorship poll, Adegboyega Oyetola, for lacking in merit.
Recall that a minority judgement delivered by a member of the three-man Panel of Justices of the Tribunal, Justice A. Ogbuli, dismissed APC’s petition and upheld the victory of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) candidate (Adeleke) at the election.
Also, in the Notice of Appeal signed by counsel to INEC, Prof. Paul Ananaba (SAN) and 17 others, the Commission challenged the decision of the Tribunal on the grounds that the panel erred in law by claiming that Adeleke did not score the 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 also said 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.
It also said the allegation that it tampered with the official records was a criminal allegation that must be proven beyond reasonable doubt, noting that there was no proof it tampered with any record before the Tribunal.
Source: Leadership newspaper