Adeleke Vs Oyetola: INEC appeals Osun Tribunal judgment, lists 44 grounds

The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) on Wednesday appealed the judgment of the Election Petition Tribunal that nullified the victory of Osun State Governor, Ademola Adeleke, in the July 16 governorship poll.

The electoral body in the Notice of Appeal dated 30th January 2023, filed before the Court of Appeal, Akure Division listed 44 grounds of appeal.

INEC asked the Court of Appeal to set aside the judgment of the Tribunal.

The commission also asked the court to dismiss the petition filed by All Progressives Congress and its governorship candidate, Gboyega Oyetola for lacking in merit.

It would be recalled that a tribunal panel led by Justice Tertsea Kume nullified Adeleke’s victory and declared Oyetola as the elected governor of the state.

The panel said over-voting was established in 744 polling units and deducted the excess votes from the votes garnered by Adeleke and Oyetola.

But in a minority judgment delivered by another member of the panel, Justice A. Ogbuli, he dismissed APC’s petition and upheld Adeleke’s victory at the poll.

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.

The 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 a reasonable doubt, noting that there was no proof it tampered with any records before the panel.