Appeal Tribunal reserves judgment in Osun governorship election dispute
By Alex Enumah in Abuja
The Osun State Election Appeal Tribunal on Wednesday reserved judgment in the four appeals filed against the judgment of the Osun State Election Petition Tribunal.
The chairman of the five-man panel of justices of the appeal tribunal, Justice Jummai Sankey, said that the dates for judgment would be communicated to parties, shortly after the counsel to the parties adopted and argued their briefs of argument in the various suits.
The first suit with number CA/A/EPT/246/2019, which was filed by the Osun State Governor Adegboyega Oyetola, has the candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in the Osun governorship election, Senator Ademola Adeleke, the PDP, the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) and the All Progressives Congress (APC) as first to fourth respondents respectively.
The second with number CA/A/EPT/256/2019, filed by the APC has Adeleke, PDP, INEC and Oyetola as first to fourth respondents.
While the third appeal filed by INEC and marked: CA/A/EPT/259/2019, has Adeleke, PDP, Oyetola and APC as respondents, and the fourth marked:
CA/A/EPT/295/2019, filed by Adeleke has Oyetola, APC and INEC as respondents.
While the first three appeals are challenging the majority judgment of the tribunal, the fourth which is a cross appeal is seeking to upturn the dissenting and minority judgment of the tribunal.
Both Oyetola and Adeleke had appealed the judgment of the Osun tribunal on the governorship poll held on September 22, 2018 and the rerun therefore held on September 27, 2018.
Oyetola and the APC in their appeals are asking the appeal tribunal to set aside the majority decision that nullified Oyetola’s victory and return Adeleke as the lawful winner of the poll. Adeleke, on the other hand, is asking the tribunal to uphold his victory as declared by the tribunal and upturn the minority judgment which had dismissed his petition for lacking merit.
The petition tribunal had in a split decision of two-one in its March 22, 2019 judgment, voided the election of Oyetola and the APC in the Osun governorship poll. It also ordered INEC to withdraw the Certificate of Return issued to Oyetola and issue a fresh one to Adeleke having won majority of the lawful votes cast at the poll.
Both Oyetola and Adeleke were present in court throughout the proceedings. (THISDAY)