*Governor Of Osun, Oyetola and APC fail to srike out PDP’s case at the Tribunal
*PDP Candidate, Adeleke is no letting go, he insists his mandate was stolen
The Osun PDP and her candidate, Ademola Adeleke secured major victory today at the sitting of Osun Election Petition Tribunal as application of APC to kill the petition failed.
The panel after hearing proceeded to conclude the pre-hearing, determining the system of witness cross-examination and the modalities for the hearing of substantive suit– the request of Adeleke to be declared winner.
Chief Dr Paul Ananaba SAN, lead counsel to Senator Adeleke said efforts to frustrate the peition has failed, commending the panel for their steadfastness.
A senior lawyer to the APC was however bitter and filed with anger after the proceedings. He was angry not just at the outcome but at what he called the softness of the Tribunal with the PDP counsel.
The sitting witnessed a lot of tough legal arguments with the PDP counsel, positing that the petition of the APC lacks merit and reliant on outdated inapllicable ruling which was already overtaking by the amendment to the constitution.
Tribunal sitting had started with APC counsels and other respondents to the petition pushing for the dismissal of the prayers of PDP and her candidate to be declared winner of the election.
Chief Olujinmi, SAN submited another motion related to Chief Olanipekun’s earlier motion seeking that Tribunal should struck out the petiton on ground of cause of action. Olanipekun’s motion seeks similar prayer on ground of statue barred.
Olujinmi said since the petitioner participated in the rerun of 27th, the petitioner has admitted having no cause of action or interest in the 22nd main election.
PDP lawyer, Dr Ananaba countered by affirming that the respondents were relying on expired conditions and stipulations, affirming that the petitioner has cause of action and claim to 22nd poll despite participating in 27th rerun.
PDP lawyer argues that the ruling relied on by the petitioner has been overtaking by amendment of the constitution and the electoral act, positing that attempt to truncate petition through technical delays and arguments is gone
“Our petition is not statue barred nor have we abandon our claim to action in respect of September 22. We submit that filling of petition depends on the decison of returning officer. The day he decided on who wins an election is the day the electoral process is completed. It counts the day the winner emerged.
“We submit that the day a winner emerge does not mean every action prior to that declaration cannot be querried. That was why we filed all details about infractions. The conception of respondents is that it runs from September 22; that is not so. Petitioner has rights to querry irregularities from 22 to the rerun and to the declaration of winner. Our complaint is that the returning officer has no right to cancel 7 polling units as he did.
“Where a party applies properly before the tribunal with a petition, he has right to querry all the processes and the tribunal has right to determine legality of votes with determination through lawful votes. We submit that Agbaje and INEC ruling is dead and the constitution has changed.
“We also submit that it is erroneous to submit that the Tribunal has no power to question any act of INEC. They are wrong. The tribunal is empowered to look into all cases and issues associated with the election”, the SAN noted.
He posited that APC has been running away from facing the petition, asking “if they have no response and defence, they should throw in the towel”
The judge then directed that the report of pre-hearing will be presented on Monday while hearing will commence on Tuesday.
PDP supporters jubilated outside the court as they all see the immediate victory.
APC lawyers and the few supporters who came were downcast.
In fact, an APC lawyer was almost cursing the tribunal. He was also angry with their lead counsel for what he called weak submissions. He did not spare the judges whom he said were supportive of PDP.