Aregbesola vrs Omisore: Tribunal reserves ruling indefinitely

Posted by News Express | 24 January 2015 | 4,455 times

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Justice Elizabeth Ekpejime-led tribunal panel yesterday reserved ruling indefinitely on the petition of the Peoples Democratic Party, (PDP), Senator Iyiola Omisore against the outcome of Osun August 9, governorship poll.

Governor Rauf Aregbesola was returned elected by the Independent National Electoral Commission, (INEC), but the PDP candidate rejected the result and petitioned the panel seeking its declaration to be declared the winner of the poll.

After the adoption of final addresses by the parties yesterday, Ekpejime informed the parties of the panel to reserve judgement without giving specific date when judgement will be delivered. She said that the date of the judgement will be communicated to the parties.

Commenting on the issues raised in their final addresses, counsel to the first respondent (Mr. Rauf Aregbesola), second and third respondents respectively, (APC and INEC), Chief Akinlolu Olujinmi, SAN, Chief Rotimi Akeredolu, SAN, and Ayo Ogunleye, respectively, posited that Omisore’s petition should be dismissed because it was filed out of time. In their separate remarks, they insisted that the petitioner did not call witnesses in respect 116 out of 142 wards being challenged in the petition.

They further explained that PDP challenged results in 939 polling unit but did not call evidence on 709 polling unit, stressing that “they have abandoned their case in respect of 709 polling unit.

Even, if they had called evidence in all the units, the 1st Respondent would still have won convincingly with majority lawful votes”.

However, while expatiating on the issues in his final address, counsel to the petitioner, Alex Izinyon argued that Omisore should be declared winner of the governorship election, having polled majority of lawful votes.

He said the1st respondent had admitted in page six of its final address that the figure allocated to him by INEC after the poll was wrong, going by the table, indicating the results provided in the address Izinyon said: “The total votes, remaining for the APC after deduction is 234, 971.

This is an admission from the 1st respondent, which is different from the INEC result, indicating that APC got 394,684 votes. I urge your Lordship to follow their result. There was substantial non compliance with electoral process and irregularities in the election”.

“Preponderance of evidence before this panel shows, respondents have no case to weigh on the scale compared to the petitioner’s case. “The petitioner with what we have submitted in his unwavering evidence should be so declared and returned as the governor of Osun state”.

Meanwhile, Osun state government has accused the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in the state of creating confusion at the venue of the sitting of the tribunal. “It is startling how PDP leaders, their members and sponsored hoodlums could go to town jubilating over a non-existent verdict. The parties to the petition only made final submissions to the tribunal”, the government said in a statement.


Source: News Express

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