Osun Governorship: Supreme Court Names Five-Man Panel, Fixes Date For Hearing
The Supreme Court, on Friday named a five-man panel of judges to deliver judgement in the separate appeals by the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and its candidate in the Osun governorship election, Senator Ademola Adeleke, against the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC). Igbere TV reports that Adeleke is challenging the victory of the All Progressives Congress (APC) and its candidate, Governor Gboyega Oyetola, in the 2018 Osun State governorship election. Members of the panel are:- (1) Hon Justice Olabode Rhodes Vivour (Chairman) (2) Hon Justice Akhas (3) Hon Hustice Paul Adam Galumje (4) Hon Justice John Okoro (5) Hon Justice Ahaugi Also, the Supreme Court hearing between Senator Adeleke/PDP and Governor Oyetola/APC is now scheduled for 17th June, 2019. Igbere TV recalls that the Appeal Court had earlier ruled in favour of Governor Oyetola, after he had appealed the first judgement of the Election Petitions Tribunal, which ruled in favour of Senator Adeleke. Recall that INEC had declared Oyetola and the APC the winner of the Osun State governorship election on the basis of the cumulative results of the September 22, 2018 main election and the September 27, 2018 supplementary poll. Earlier on May 30, the PDP had won an appeal of the April 2 judgement by Justice Othman Musa of the FCT High Court, Bwari, which voided Adeleke’s candidacy for the election on the grounds that he was not qualified, having not possessed valid secondary school certificate. The court had also declared Adeleke ineligible to contest the election on the grounds that he forged his secondary school credentials submitted to the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) in 2018. But upturning the judgment on Thursday, May 30, Justice Emmanuel Agim of the Appeal Court held that the suit, having failed to be filed within 14 days after Adeleke’s Form C.F001 was submitted to INEC or 14 days after his name was published as a candidate in the September 2018 election, the suit filed before the FCT High Court, by virtue of section 285 of the constitution had become statute-barred. Justice Agim also held that the failure of the FCT High Court to deliver its verdict within 60 days of the filing of the suit had rendered the lower court’s judgment a nullity. The Court also held the affidavit evidence of the West African Examination Council and result ledger attached to it showed that Adeleke was not a dropout but actually sat the May 1981 examination of the body at Muslim Grammar School, Ede. Justice Agim held that by virtue of section 177 of the constitution, by merely taking the examination and without passing any paper, Adeleke was qualified to contest the governorship election. He, therefore, faulted the claim that Adeleke forged the West African Examination Council (WAEC) certificate he presented to the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to secure clearance for the gubernatorial election.