The Court of Appeal in Abuja has scheduled hearing for April 24 in the appeals filed by the Osun State Governor, Adegboyega Oyetola and his party, the All Progressives Congress (APC) against the March 22, 2019 by the Osun State Governorship Election Tribunal.
Information about the hearing date is contained in notices sent to parties by the court’s Registry, a copy of which The Nation sighted on Monday in Abuja.
The tribunal, in a split decision of two-to-one, voided the victory of Oyetola and the APC in the election held on September 22, 2018, but concluded with a rerun on September 27, 2018.
Two members of the tribunal’s three-member panel upheld the petition filed by the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and its candidate Senator Ademola Adeleke against the outcome of election, while its chairman dismissed it for being unmeritorious.
Justices Peter Obiorah and Adegboye Gbolagunte gave the majority decision, which replaced Oyetola and APC with Adeleke and PDP as winners of the election.
The tribunal Chairman, Justice Muhammad Sirajo, in his dissenting judgment/minority decision, held otherwise.
He dismissed the petition by Adeleke and PDP on the grounds that the petitioners failed to prove their claims.
In the separate notices of appeal they filed against the tribunal’s majority judgment, Oyetola and the APC ripped the judgment apart, arguing that “it is perverse, replete with contradictions and against the weight of evidence.”
The want the Court of Appeal to uphold their appeals, set aside the majority judgment and dismiss the October 16, 2018 petition by Adeleke and the PDP.
Oyetola and the APC said they were contesting the entire majority judgment, except where it held that it lacked jurisdiction to set aside the INEC Guidelines used for the election; that the allegation of over voting was not proved; that the petitioners did not prove voided votes, and other parts of the judgment where it agreed with their arguments.
They queried the validity of the judgment, which was authored and delivered by Justice Obiorah, who they noted, did not participate in all the sittings of the tribunal during trial.
The appellants are of the view that the entire of the majority judgment is a nullity, because it was written and delivered by Justice Obiorah “who did not participate in all the proceedings of the tribunal and who was not present when all the witnesses gave evidence.”