Tribunal orders INEC to release Osun election materials to Oyetola, APC for inspection

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Pastes Adeleke’s petition notice on board

Uba Group

Might relocate venue over insecurity

BY TIMOTHY AGBOR, OSOGBO

Osun State 2022 Election Petition Tribunal on Monday granted the ex parte application filed by Governor Gboyega Oyetola and the All Progressives Congress for substituted service on the state governor-elect, Ademola Adeleke.

The tribunal panel Chairman, Tertsea Aorga Kume and a member, Benedict Amangbo Ogbuli presided over the sitting which held at the premises of the state judiciary complex in Osogbo.

Oyetola, who had lost the July 16 governorship election in the state, had on August 11, filed a motion for an order for Adeleke to be served through other means since the court bailiff allegedly found it difficult service the governor-elect personally.

According to the tribunal, efforts made by its bailiff to serve Adeleke was not successful and that the official left Adeleke’s country home in Ede without serving him and cited security reasons.

Counsel to Oyetola, Yomi Aliyu, a Senior Advocate of Nigeria, was in court and he opted that the tribunal should serve Adeleke the court process through its notice board.

To this end, the panel ordered that the petition notice should be pasted on the Tribunal’s notice board.

Also, the court granted the second application of Oyetola who sought for an order of inspection of documents from the first respondent (Independent National Electoral Commission).

Ruling on the motion filed on August 11, the panel chairman ordered INEC to release materials used at the poll for Oyetola and APC to inspect.

Earlier, Kume assured parties in the petition that the panel would do justice to their cases and ensure fairness.

The Point gathered from the court officials that, according to the law, Adeleke has 21 days from the day the petition service was pasted on the notice board to respond.

Speaking in an interview after the court sitting, counsel to the petitioner, Yomi Aliyu, said, “we brought two applications; one application is for substituted service, the other application was for inspection of documents. When we were arguing the applications, we refered to one exhibit where the bailiff said he went to serve the second respondent (Adeleke) in Ede, the gate was locked, they asked him to speak with somebody, he spoke to that person and the next thing the person told him was a like a threat and so, he had to leave the place.

“Quoting him (bailiff) now, “I left the place for my safety.” That’s what he wrote, hence, we applied to the court and the court has granted the applications. First to inspect the documents and to serve the second respondent by substituted service.”

On when the timeline the court has to decide on the petition, Aliyu said, “This will be the fastest election petition in Nigeria because all the time we hitherto use to spend on calling numerous witnesses will be very limited now. So, it will be timous. There won’t be any problem on that.”

Meanwhile, Aliyu said he was the only SAN, out of the 52 SANs representing Oyetola and APC that attended the court sitting, saying that others couldn’t attend because they were afraid.

“The bailiff himself wrote that he could not serve and that he had to leave the place for his safety and you know they are burning houses in Ede town, so that’s why people are saying it’s insecure. Instead of 12 Senior Advocates today, we find only myself. So, Senior Advocates felt insecure and they could not come. We have 52 lawyers and only five were in court today because of insecurity. As we are talking to you, we don’t know what will happen.

“CBN"

“The movement of the sitting depends on Tribunal, we could move to Port Harcourt, we could move to Enugu. It could move to Ibadan and it could move to anywhere. The tribunal will not allow anybody to know where it would be moved to for security reasons,” he said.