Osun election petition: Tribunal grants Oyetola, APC leave to inspect election materials - Saga Gist - Top Source for Nigeria News


Friday, October 12

Osun election petition: Tribunal grants Oyetola, APC leave to inspect election materials

THE election petition tribunal, adjudicating over complaints, regarding the outcome of September 22 governorship poll in Osun, on Friday ordered the Independent Electoral Commission(INEC), and the Osun State Resident Electoral Commissioner (REC), Mr Olusegun Agbaje to allow the All Progressive Congress (APC), and its flag bearer, during exercise, Mr Gboyega  Isiaka  Oyetola to inspect certified true copies of the election materials. 

Ruling on an application filed by the lead counsel to the APC and Oyetola, Barrister Yinka Okedara, the chairman of the three-member panel, Justice T A Ogoche granted the order to allow the defendants assess to the election materials with a view to file their defence.

Oyetola and his political party, the APC in the application sought the order of the tribunal to obtain the true copies of the electoral materials and conduct a physical inspection in respect of the election materials, most especially on Forms EC8A, EC8C, card reader verification records, indicating the status of the accredited voters.

Other reliefs sought by the governor-elect include the leave of the tribunal to obtain the report of the electoral officers, report of the accredited voters, list for the distribution of PVC across the state from the INEC database.

While advancing argument over the grounds contained in the application for the reliefs, Barrister Okedara contended that the 1st defendant (Oyetola)  contested the September 22 and 27 governorship elections on the platform of the 2nd defendant and was declared the winner of the polls by the INEC.

Delivering her ruling, Justice Ogoche granted four out of five reliefs sought by Oyetola and APC to inspect the materials in the presence of all interested parties and the absence of any party should not in anyway obstruct the inspection, bearing in mind the time frame for the petition.

The election tribunal also directed INEC to make all the documents and its personnel available between 8.00 am to 6. 00 pm, including Saturdays and Sundays.

Justice Ogoche, however, declined the request of APC and Oyetola to carry out joint inspection with the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), and its governorship candidate, Senator Ademola Adeleke, who had earlier been granted similar orders by the tribunal on the 4th of October, 2018.

She held that such order would contradict earlier order hitherto granted to the same tribunal and such process may affect speedy filling of the petition which is the major ground of the PDP application.