The Independent National Electoral Commission has appealed the judgement of the Osun State Election Petition Tribunal, which overturned the Osun state Governor, Ademola Adeleke’s victory in the July 16 governorship election.
The commission, on Wednesday, listed 44 grounds of appeal in the Notice of Appeal dated 30th January 2023, filed before the Court of Appeal, Akure Division, obtained in Osogbo, asking the court to set aside the Tribunal’s decision.
Recall that, on January 27, the Osun Tribunal panel, led by Justice Tertsea Kume had nullified Adeleke’s victory and declared Oyetola as the duly elected governor at the poll.
The panel gave the judgment on the grounds of over-voting in 744 polling units and deducted the excess votes garnered by Adeleke and Oyetola.
However, a minority judgement delivered by another member of the same panel, Justice A. Ogbuli, dismissed APC’s petition and upheld Adeleke’s victory at the poll.
Within Nigeria reported that the appellant, in the Notice of Appeal signed by counsel to INEC, Prof. Paul Ananaba (SAN) and 17 others, prayed the court to dismiss the petition filed by the All Progressives Congress and its candidate in the election, Adegboyega Oyetola, as meritless.
The commission challenged the decision of the Tribunal on the grounds that the panel erred in law by claiming that Adeleke did not score the majority of the lawful votes, saying the petitioners only called two witnesses who did not prove that the PDP candidate did not win the election.
According to INEC, the Tribunal erred in law by using a table contained in the final written address of the petitioners to determine overvoting and deducted votes scored by the respondent.
The electoral body dismissed the Tribunal’s claim that because it issued different accreditation reports, its conduct was tantamount to tampering with official documents, adding that the allegation that it tampered with the official records was a “criminal allegation that must be proven beyond a reasonable doubt”, noting that there was no proof it tampered with any records before the panel.