The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has appealed the judgment which returened Gboyega Adetola as Governor of Osun State, after sacking Ademola Adeleke, who took over from him in November last year, after being declared winner in the July 2022 governorship election.
The commission is asking the appellate court to set aside of January 27, where two out of the three-member panel of the tribunal held that Oyetola proved that there was over-voting in some of the polling units and therefore awarded him the victory and ordered INEC to recognise him as the winner.
Specifically, the tribunal, had ordered the commission to withdraw the Certificate of Returns issued to Adeleke and hand over same to Oyetola, based on its verdict, a position the electoral body is now contesting in an appeal it filed on Wednesday.
Among several issues, in the notice of appeal, INEC raising 44 issues, contended that the tribunal failed to consider its preliminary objection before going ahead to determine the substance of the petition, and that there was no majority judgment as the second judge on the panel, Rabi Bashir, failed to write her opinion as required by section 294(2) of the constitution.
The commission, therefore implored the appellate court for an order dismissing and/or striking out the petition for want of competence and jurisdiction and another order dismissing the petition of the Oyetola and the All Progressives Congress, the first and second respondents in the appeal as lacking in merit with substantial cost”.
Akindele Adekunle, caretaker chairman of the Osun state chapter of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), in a statement on Wednesday, commended the commission for appealing the judgment.
“INEC has toed the right path by appealing the ‘Buga judgment’ because if such is sustained, what will happen will be candidates who lost elections manipulating server reports and presenting same to a judge to steal the election from the actual winner,” Adekunle said.