The Osun State Governorship Election Petition Tribunal has delivered its ruling on an exparte application brought by the opposition Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) to cross-check all materials used for the September 22 and 27 governorship poll.
In the ruling, the party was granted the permission to inspect, examine, scan and photocopy all rejected ballot papers and other election materials used for the election.
PREMIUM TIMES reported how the PDP candidate in the election, Ademola Adeleke, filed a petition last Tuesday at the tribunal sitting in Osogbo to challenge the victory of the governor-elect, Gboyega Oyetola of the All Progressives Congress (APC).
Mr Adeleke, who claimed he polled the highest number of votes in the election, asked the tribunal to cancel the victory of Mr Oyetola and declare him the winner of the election.
On Thursday, members of the PDP stormed the state high court in Osogbo, the state capital, where the election petition tribunal is sitting and blocked its entrance. The alleged that the tribunal had been disbanded by the president of the court of appeal.
Meanwhile, the head of media and publicity of the Court of Appeal, Sa’adatu Musa, in a message sent to PREMIUM TIMES on Thursday, stated that the tribunal was “only reshuffled and not disbanded.”
However, on Monday, the tribunal said the two applications by the PDP were aimed at serving the petitions and other processes on the second and third respondent respectively.
According to a judge, Peter Obiora, who delivered the ruling on behalf of the chairman of the tribunal, Muhammad Siraju, the essence of granting the applications was “to bring the proceedings to the attention of the respondents in the substantial suit”.
He said the parties involved should be assured that the tribunal would do everything constitutionally possible to ensure justice prevails.
While addressing the public, the applicant’s counsel, Nathaniel Oke, said the applications was to allow them to properly serve the second respondent (Gboyega Oyetola) and third respondent (APC).
The tribunal, after granting the applications also said the respondents (Gboyega Oyetola and APC) are to serve as observers during the exermination and inspection of the election materials.
Speaking with PREMIUM TIMES on Monday, the PDP head of media and public communication, Bamidele Salam, confirmed the ruling. He noted that all hands should be on deck as events unfold.
The APC director of publicity, Kunle Oyatomi, in a statement sent to PREMIUM TIMES on Thursday evening, had charged the PDP to respect the tribunal’s processes.
“Let the justice system plays itself out and our politicians are obligated to respect the decisions of the court,” Mr Oyatomi said.