INEC appeals against Osun Tribunal verdict, presents 44 grounds for appeal

The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has appealed the judgement of the Osun Election Petition Tribunal that sacked Ademola Adeleke as winner of the July 16 Osun governorship poll.

The electoral body listed 44 grounds of appeal in its Notice of Appeal dated 30th January 2023, asking the Appeal Court to overrule the decision of the Tribunal.

The Appeal Notice was signed by 18 signees: INEC counsel Prof. Paul Ananaba (SAN) and 17 others, filed before the Court of Appeal, Akure Division, and obtained in Osogbo on Wednesday, February 8th.

The INEC also asked the court to dismiss the petition filed by the APC and Adegboyega Oyetola, the APC governorship candidate during the election, since their petition lacked merit.

A minority judgement delivered by Justice A. Ogbuli of the Tribunal panel had maintained Adeleke as the election winner, dismissing the APC’s petition.

The Appeal Notice also stated that the Tribunal panel had made an error in concluding that Adeleke won by over-voting, since the two witnesses called by the petitioners could not prove it true.

The INEC also said the Tribunal erred in law by using a table contained in the final written address of the petitioners to determine over-voting and slashed Adeleke’s votes.

Additionally, the electoral commission challenged the Tribunal’s claim that because it issued different accreditation reports, its conduct meant tampering with official documents.

INEC called out the Tribunal to prove beyond reasonable doubt that it had tampered with official documents, saying that the allegation spelt a criminal offence.