Osun Election Petition Tribunal constituted, yet to receive complaints from Oyetola

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BY TIMOTHY AGBOR, OSOGBO

Uba Group

The Osun State Election Petition Tribunal has been constituted following moves by some aggrieved governorship candidates to challenge the victory of the Peoples Democratic Party candidate, Ademola Adeleke in the July 16 governorship election in the state.

The state governor, Gboyega Oyetola was reported to have engaged no fewer than 50 lawyers, including senior advocates, to challenge Adeleke’s victory.

Already, Oyetola, in a statement issued by his Chief Press Secretary, Ismail Omipidan, had said that he (Oyetola) and his political party, All Progressives Congress, were studying the election results and would make their decision known afterwards.

Meanwhile, a visit to the Osun State High Court Complex in Osogbo, on Wednesday, revealed that a panel that would oversee the Election Petition Tribunal had been constituted.

The panel had already made available an Election Tribunal Hall within the Judiciary Complex while other logistics including speakers and chairs had been arranged for potential litigation.

Confirming the constitution of the panel to our correspondent in Osogbo, the Secretary of the Tribunal, David Umar Dike, said the panel was yet to receive any petition from any aggrieved governorship candidate since the election results were declared on Sunday.

Dike said the law provides 21 days from the day the election results were declared (Sunday) for candidates to approach the Tribunal with complaints or petitions.

According to him, “Panel has been constituted and Registry has been opened since before the election day. That is why the banner is there. The registry is open for business. We have not received anything yet for now and they (aggrieved candidates) have 21 days from the day of declaration of results in which to file any grievance they have with the results declared. They (INEC) declared on Sunday and we are counting. That’s the position for now.

“Anyone who wants to submit any compliant should come to the Osun State Judiciary Complex and ask for Registry of the Election Petition.

“Within this 21 days, if anything is filed, sitting will commence because whatever is filed, my Lords will have to be here (Tribunal Hall in Osogbo) and determine whatever it is that will be brought before the court.

“Usually, the first thing to be filed are expartes. They will come and take the expartes and the work continues,” Dike, the Secretary of the Osun State Election Petition Tribunal, 2022, told our correspondent on the telephone.

Relatedly, a notice pasted at the notice board of the Tribunal read: “This is to inform the general public that the Osun State Election Petition Tribunal sitting at the High Court of Justice Complex, Osogbo is open business.

“For purposes of filing election petitions or any other process, kindly contact the secretary of the Tribunal.”

Recall that Adeleke has warned the Independent National Electoral Commission against tampering with the materials used for the July 16 Osun state governorship poll in a bid to favour the APC.

Adeleke, in a statement signed by the Chairman of his Media Management Team, Prince Diran Odeyemi, alleged that there were insinuations that the leadership of the APC was working on INEC to tamper with some electoral materials that would be used against Adeleke’s victory at the Election Petition Tribunal.

The statement alleged that some APC leaders had been moving around the local government offices of the commission to liaise with the INEC officials who would tamper with some election materials kept in their custody.

Adeleke called on the INEC Chairman, Prof. Mahmood Yakubu, to direct the commission’s officials in Osun to submit all electoral materials to the state headquarters.

“CBN"

The statement read, “There is rumour milling around the state that the leadership of the All Progressives Congress are romancing the INEC to tamper with some electoral materials that could be used against the victory of the governor-elect in their alleged proposed brief at the Election Petition Tribunal.

“Some APC leaders have been moving around local government offices of the commission to liaise with the INEC officials to tamper with some of the Electoral Materials in their custody.

“Senator Adeleke called on the INEC chairman, Professor Mahmood Yakubu, to call his officials in Osun State to order so as to prevent them from perpetrating the dastardly act.”

But the APC leadership in the state, while reacting to the allegation, challenged Adeleke and the PDP to prove their allegation against the APC.