THE Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has filed an appeal against the Governorship Election Petition Tribunal ruling that declared Gboyega Oyetola as the governor of Osun State.
The ICIR had reported that the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) candidate, Governor Ademola Adeleke, was sacked in a split judgment delivered by the tribunal in Osogbo, Osun State capital, on Friday, January 27.
The tribunal ordered INEC to withdraw the Certificate of Return issued to Adeleke and issue the same to Oyetola.
The majority judgment read by the tribunal’s chairman, Justice Tertse Kume, said Oyetola scored the majority lawful votes of 314,931 against Adeleke’s 219,666.
But in a notice of appeal filed on Wednesday, February 8, INEC contended that the tribunal failed to consider its preliminary objection before proceeding with the petition.
The Commission also noted that there was no majority judgment as the second judge on the panel did not write her opinion as required by the Constitution.
INEC listed 44 grounds on which the tribunal’s judgment should be set aside.
It also asked the court to dismiss the petition for want of competence and jurisdiction.
The electoral commission is seeking an order to dismiss the petition filed by Oyetola and the APC as lacking in merit with substantial cost.
The Osun state chapter of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) has expressed support for INEC’s appeal.
The PDP caretaker chairperson, Akindele Adekunle, released a statement commending the Commission for taking action.
Adekunle stated that INEC has taken the right approach by appealing the judgment. He noted that the tribunal’s decision would result in candidates who lost elections manipulating server reports and presenting them to a judge to steal the election from the actual winner.