Tribunal Orders INEC Chairman To Produce Adeleke’s Certificates

Osun State Election Petition Tribunal has issued a fresh order, directing the National Chairman of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to produce the certificates and other documents of the state Governor-elect, Ademola Adeleke, used in the 2018 governorship election.

The order followed the failure of the state Resident Electoral Commissioner (REC) of the commission to produce the certificates in the previous sitting in compliance with the Subpoena issued by the commission.

Governor Adegboyega Oyetola is challenging the declaration of Adeleke as Governor-elect by the INEC.

At its resumed sitting yesterday, the tribunal chaired by Justice Tertsea Kume ruled that the mere appearance of the representative of REC has not answered the Subpoena on the commission to produce the documents.

In the ruling, the tribunal said an application for Subpoena is in Administrative Act and when it is granted, it becomes a Judicial Act and the party upon which the Subpoena is issued must comply, citing Sections 218 and 219 of the evidence act.

It ruled: “An order of the court is bound to be complied with by the party upon which it was made until it is set aside by the court. In the instant case, the order has not been complied with.”

The tribunal further held that the request by the respondents that the petitioners should continue with the calling of the witness whose testimony is hung on Adeleke’s credentials was baseless, as the petitioners have the absolute prerogative on how to conduct their case.

The panel said the application was consequent to the failures of the state REC of the commission to produce the documents requested in the Subpoena.

According to the ruling, the petitioners have shown sufficient reasons for the tribunal to compel the National Chairman of INEC to produce the documents in question.

It then dismissed all the objections raised by the counsel for INEC, Adeleke and PDP, compelling the Chairman of the commission to produce the documents in the next sitting of the panel on Thursday, December 1.

Counsel for the petitioners, Chief Akin Olujinmi, SAN, described the ruling as a well-researched one, saying it would go a long way in serving the course of justice in the hearing of the petition.

Addressing journalists shortly after the proceedings, Chief Olujinmi, said the court has done the right thing for reordering INEC to produce the requested documents containing Adeleke’s certificates.

He added: “The respondents, as we said during the last sitting, didn’t want to produce that document and that was why we had to argue at length to persuade the tribunal to reorder, which they eventually made today.

“The effect of this is that the INEC is now under a binding obligation to produce these documents at the next appearance in court on Thursday, December 1st, 2022,” he added.

Counsel for INEC, Prof. Paul Ananaba, SAN, also conceded that they were ready now to follow the order of the court by producing the requested documents.

Meanwhile, a Federal High Court in Osun, yesterday, nullified the State Local Governments Election conducted by Osun Independent Electoral Commission (OSIEC).

The presiding judge, Justice Ayo-Nathaniel Emmanuel, held that the election conducted by OSIEC on October 15, was illegal, null and void, having not been conducted in consonance with the Electoral Act of 2022.

Emmanuel ordered the Local Government Chairmen and Councilors across the state to vacate all Local Government Secretariats and offices with immediate effect.

He said the notice given by OSIEC for the election was not in compliance with Section 28 of the OSEIC Act 2022.

“Section 24 of the OSIEC law gives 360 days notice and also Section 25 and Section 26 of the OSEIC law are also insistence with the Electoral Act in terms of submission and publication of names.

The PDP approached the court asking to stop OSIEC from going ahead with the election.

Other respondents in the matter include INEC, All Progressives Congress (APC) and its former party chairman, Oba Adeboyega Famoodun, the Owa of Igbajo

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