Osun Tribunal Ruling: This judgment can’t stand — Aregbesola

Osun Tribunal Ruling: This judgment can’t stand — Aregbesola

OSOGBO— IMMEDIATE past governor of Osun State, Ogbeni Rauf Aregbesola, yesterday, described the judgement of the Osun Election Petition Tribunal sitting in Abuja last Friday which nullified the election of Governor Gboyega Oyetola as strange and unknown to law. Aregbesola, in a statement in Osogbo by his Media Adviser, Mr. Sola Fasure, said the report

OSOGBO— IMMEDIATE past governor of Osun State, Ogbeni Rauf Aregbesola, yesterday, described the judgement of the Osun Election Petition Tribunal sitting in Abuja last Friday which nullified the election of Governor Gboyega Oyetola as strange and unknown to law.

Aregbesola, in a statement in Osogbo by his Media Adviser, Mr. Sola Fasure, said the report of the split judgement came to every watcher of political events in the state as a rude shock.
In the statement entitled: This Judgment cannot Stand, the former Governor said the people of the state and the government have the highest regards for the judiciary and will continue to have high regards for the revered institution but regretted to state that the decision of the majority judgement is strange to law and common sense.
Aregbesola said the people rejected the majority judgment and believe that it will not stand scrutiny at the appellate court.
The statement reads: “We have the highest regards for the judiciary and we will continue to have high regards for the revered institution. However, we regret to note that the decision in the majority judgement, as can be seen from our subsequent observations, is strange to law and common sense. It certainly does not support the cause of electoral justice and may constitute the death knell for properly conducted elections. Therefore, with all sense of responsibility, we reject the majority judgment and believed that it will not stand scrutiny at the appellate court.
“Two of the three judges on the panel in the majority judgment nullified elections in 17 polling units, and proceeded to calculate election results on their own to declare Senator Ademola Nurudeen Adeleke of the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) as the winner of the elections conducted in September 2018. The two judges also canceled the supplementary election held on September 27, 2018 and awarded victory to the PDP candidate.
“There was no evidence of any act known to render election null and void in an election petition such as over voting, non-accreditation, ballot box stuffing etc. This much was highlighted in the dissenting judgment of the Chairman of the Tribunal in disagreeing with the majority decision.
“It is general knowledge in that elections are not nullified based on non-compliance alone. A petitioner, who alleges non-compliance with the provisions of this Electoral Act, must clearly establish by evidence that the non-compliance has affected the result of the election. The petitioner must not only show substantial non-compliance but also the figures that the non-compliance attracted or omitted.
”Therefore, the most relevant question one would pose here is: should the tribunal allow APC to suffer as a result of the mistakes or omissions occasioned by the INEC staff? Certainly, no. It is rather shocking to good conscience that APC will be penalized for the error or mistake of INEC and its staff in this regard, even when there is evidence of validly conducted and concluded elections in the 17 polling units, especially where no miscarriage of justice has been shown to have been occasioned.
“It is in view of the foregoing that we are going to vigorously pursue appeal against the judgement. We have the firm confidence that it will be upturned.

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