Osun Elections Tribunal: Aregbesola, Omisore know fate on January 6

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The Election Petitions Tribunal hearing matters arising from the Osun State governorship election of August 9, 2014 is set to deliver its final judgment on Friday, January 6.

Secretary of the Tribunal, Mr. Adamu Aliyu, confirmed the date on the telephone to our correspondent in Osogbo, Osun State capital, on Wednesday.

“The judgement is coming up on Friday, January 6,” he said.

The governorship candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party, Iyiola Omisore, had dragged Governor Rauf Aregbesola of the All Progressives Congress to the tribunal.

Chairman of the panel, Justice Elizabeth Ikpejime, had on January 23, during the adoption of written addresses by all parties, adjourned indefinitely for the final judgment.

The PDP candidate, who came second in the election with 292,747 votes against Aregbesola’s 394,684 votes, prayed the tribunal to sack the governor and declare him the winner of the poll.

Omisore’s counsel, Dr. Alex Izinyon (SAN), had told the tribunal during the address stage that Aregbesola admitted that he scored 234,971 votes, and not the 394,684 credited to him by the Independent National Electoral Commission.

Chief Akin Olujinmi (SAN), who represented Aregbesola, explained that the governor did not admit scoring less than the number of votes credited to him.

He stated that what the table meant was that “assuming with our conceding that the tribunal cancel the result in the disputed units, the first respondent would still have won with the new figure.”

He argued that the petitioner failed to prove his petition.

The counsel referred to the objection of the first respondent to the petition at the hearing stage, saying he adopted the two applications filed to challenge the competence of the petition.

Based on this, Aregbesola’s counsel urged the panel to strike out the petition.

The counsel argued that the petitioner dumped the ballot papers used for the election and other electoral materials on the tribunal without demonstrating to the panel how they related to the case.

He further stated that the duplicate copies of Form EC8A tendered by the petitioner were inadmissible, and that those who tendered them were not the makers of the documents.

Counsel for the All Progressives Congress, Mr. Rotimi Akeredolu (SAN) also urged the tribunal to dismiss the petition by Omisore.

Akeredolu adopted APC’s written address and at the same time adopted the arguments of the first respondent in the case.

He also said that he was not opposed to the objections raised by the first and third respondents in their written addresses, adding that the suggestion of the petitioner that the APC did not have locus in the case was strange.

Akeredolu argued that the purported certified true copies of documents tendered did not conform to the provisions of the law.

He said that the documents were not listed nor pleaded and those who tendered them were not the makers.

Counsel to the Independent National Electoral Commission, Mr. Ayotunde Ogunleye, had adopted the same argument by the first two respondents in the case.

Ogunleye had said that nobody came before the panel to give evidence that they were disenfranchised during the poll.

He further said that Omisore had failed to prove the burden of proof shifted to him and that his petition should be dismissed.

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