Sunday, February 5, 2023

Adeleke’s certificates not in our custody, Osun REC tells tribunal

The official told the court that the said documents were with INEC headquarters in Abuja.

• November 22, 2022
Ademola Adeleke
Ademola Adeleke

Mutiu Agboke, the Resident Electoral Commissioner (REC) for Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) in Osun, says the commission no longer possesses Ademola Adeleke’s Form CF 001 used in the 2018 governorship election.

The tribunal had earlier granted a subpoena application to the petitioners, compelling the REC to produce Adeleke’s Form CF 001.

Form CF 001 is the nomination form and all its attachments, including the certificates used in the 2018 election.

Governor Adegboyega Oyetola and APC had, on August 5, submitted a petition before the tribunal in Osogbo.

Mr Oyetola and APC are challenging the election results from 749 polling units across 10 local government areas of the state for various alleged electoral malpractice, especially over-voting.

INEC had declared Mr Adeleke as the winner of the July 16 governorship election, having polled 403,271 votes against 375,027 polled by Mr Oyetola.

At the resumed hearing on Tuesday in Osogbo, counsel to the petitioners, Akin Olujinmi (SAN), reminded the tribunal of the subpoena it granted and served on REC on November 15.

Mr Olujinmi told the tribunal that the subpoena on REC has yet to be obeyed, and as such, his second witness in the petition could not be called.

According to him, the testimony of the witness would be based on the said documents.

Counsel for INEC, Paul Ananaba, told the court that the REC had sent a representative to appear before the tribunal on the order of the subpoena.

The REC representative, Sheu Mohammed, who is INEC deputy director on the election and party management, told the tribunal that the said Mr Adeleke’s Form CF 001 was no longer with the commission in the state.

Mr Mohammed said after the 2018 governorship election, the said documents were submitted to INEC headquarters in Abuja, adding that they only have the photocopies of the said documents in the state.

“The Form CF 001 documents were submitted to INEC headquarters through the party, but photocopies were given to us for the purpose of record.

“What we have here in the state is Form EC8A series after the election litigation,” he said.

The petitioners’ counsel said the REC had the duty to go to INEC headquarters to obtain the documents.

“Until your lordship discharges the subpoena, it is the duty of the REC to obey it, and it remains.

“I am applying that your lordship directs the INEC chief officer or any of his officers he may direct to produce the true certified copy of INEC Form CF 001, including all the attached documents,” he said.

But, Mr Ananaba disagreed with the petitioners’ counsel, adding that REC could not order INEC headquarters to produce the said certificate.

In his objection, Mr Adeleke’s counsel, Onyechi Ikpeazu (SAN), said since the documents requested to be produced by INEC are Certified True Copies (CTC), it could be applied and paid for without necessarily bringing them to the court.

The lawyer said that based on the fact that the petitioners already have CTC at their disposal, they should be compelled to continue with the calling of the witnesses, whose testimony hanged on the documents requested from INEC.

Also, counsel to the PDP, Alex Izinyon (SAN), said since the petitioners already have the documents in question, they should be compelled to call the witness.

After the arguments and counter-arguments by the counsels, the tribunal chairman, Tertsea Kume, adjourned further hearing until November 25 to rule on the subpoena application.

Meanwhile, the petitioner’s second witness, Rasak Adeosun, told the tribunal that there were irregularities and overvoting during the election.


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