By Oluwaseyi Adeniyi
I read a piece credited to Mr Ismail Omipidan, media aide to former Governor Adegboyega Oyetola, where he claimed that my principal, Governor Ademola Adeleke is going to lose at the Appeal Court, as he based his narration on the forgery case and minority judgement of the Osun tribunal. Is Mr Omipidan backtracking on over-voting, now seeking to hide under forgery?
It’s important I tell my brother that in May 2019, the Abuja Division of the Court of Appeal has dismissed the ruling of a Federal High Court sitting in Abuja which nullified the candidacy of Senator Ademola Adeleke of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in the September 22, 2018 Osun State governorship election.
Justice Emmanuel Agim, who read the judgement, held that the defendant’s West African Examination Council (WAEC) certificate was not forged.
Also, on the alleged forgery of a school testimonial, it was unfounded. The school principal testified that the error of Osun instead of Oyo was theirs. He declared that the candidate was indeed their student.
If a trial court or tribunal is now revisiting what an appellate court had adjudicated upon, then we need to ask, who is committing error? By virtue of the judgement of the Appeal Court, my principal has been exonerated from any forgery case.
On the issue of eight-page minority judgement delivered by Justice B.A Ogbuli which stated that the petitioners predicated their case on an incomplete and inchoate document which is exhibit BVR.
Justice Ogbuli went further to say that the evidence of RW1, which is unchallenged, confirmed that as at the date exhibit BVR was issued, the 1st Respondent (INEC) had not synchronized the data in the BVAs machines and the back end server and the physical extraction of data from the BVAs machines.
Mr Omipidan said the minority judgement cannot overturn the over 99 pages of the majority judgment, may I remind him that in 2018, the appellate court based its ruling on the minority judgment which invalidated the majority judgement. Dear brother, your principal, Adegboyega Oyetola, was the beneficiary of that judgement.
While Omipidan was trying to look away from the bases on which Justice Kume placed his judgement, relying on an incomplete report given by INEC, jettisoning the primary source, BVAS machines, which was brought before his lordship and its inspection was granted by the same tribunal, may I quickly tell my senior colleague that there were four (4) major exhibits critical to the determination of the case tendered and admitted in evidence. They were:
i. Exhibit BVR.. that was the certified true copy of the BVAS report obtained from the INEC server by the APC which they used in filing their petition.
ii. Exhibit R.BVR.. that was the certified true copy of the later BVAS report also obtained from the INEC server by the respondents on being served with the petition.
iii. Exhibit RWC.. that was the report of the physical inspection of the BVAS machines themselves conducted by the 2nd Respondent on the order of the Tribunal.
iv. Exhibits R.BVM series were the BVAS machines themselves physically brought before the Tribunal, demonstrated before the Tribunal and taken as duly demonstrated as contained in the records of the Tribunal.
If Justice Teartse Kume had carefully considered the provision of the Electoral Act, 2022 which provides for continuous updating of election results from time to time by INEC, perhaps he would have been properly guided, hence delivering a judgement which is in abeyance with the provisions of the Electoral Act 2022.
No doubt, the judgement delivered by his lordship, Justice Kume, is going to have a date with the Landlords of the Court of Appeal and Supreme Court.
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