By Alexandra Oladipo
The Osun State Governorship Election Petition Tribunal sitting in Abuja has held that the petitions filed by the candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Ademola Adeleke and the PDP, challenging the victory of the All Progressives Congress (APC) and Governor Gboyega Oyetola at the Sept. 2018 governorship election, have merit.
NAN reports that the PDP and Adeleke had filed a petition asking the tribunal to declare that he polled the highest lawful votes and should be declared the winner.
But Oyetola, APC and INEC had filed their notices of preliminary objection contending among others that the petition was incompetent and that the court lacked jurisdiction over such declaration.
However, a three-member panel of the tribunal dismissed the objections filed by Gov. Oyetola, APC and the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC).
Oyetola, APC and INEC had filed their notices of preliminary objection against the petition on the grounds that the petition is incompetent adding that the court lacked jurisdiction to entertain the petition.
Delivering the lead ruling of the three-man tribunal, Chairman Ibrahim Sirajo, held that the objections were misconceived and struck them out.
The Tribunal held that the CTC should and must be an exact replica of the EC8A pink copies.
The discrepancies must therefore be explained and justified by INEC.
In this instance, the tribunal held, INEC failed to neither explain nor justify the alterations and that they failed to call any witness to justify the alterations.
The tribunal held that the attempt to explain the alterations on the basis of mere corrections of errors is not acceptable and the fact that the said errors were consistently made in the disputed areas means it was a deliberate action taken.
However the court is yet to deliver its judgment on the main suit.
More to follow