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Appeal Court Reserves Judgement On Osun Governorship Poll



The appeal court sitting in Abuja has reserved judgement over appeals filed by Gboyega Oyetola, governor of Osun state and the All Progressives Congress (APC).

The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) had announced Oyetola as winner of the September governorship election, but in March, the election tribunal declared Ademola Adeleke, candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), as winner and asked INEC to issue a fresh certificate of return to him.

Oyetola, however, rejected the judgement, filling three appeals.

On Wednesday, the five-member panel of the appeal court reserved the judgement after the parties had adopted their final briefs of argument.

Wole Olanipekun, a senior advocate of Nigeria (SAN) and counsel to Oyetola had asked the court to withdraw the judgement of the tribunal, arguing that it was unknown to the law because Peter Obiorah, the judge who prepared and read the tribunal judgement did not participate fully during the hearing of the petition.

On its part, INEC, through Yusuf Ali, its lawyer, told the appellate court that the findings of the tribunal were not correct as they were based on unverified documents submitted by Adeleke and the PDP.

Onyechi Ikpeazu, counsel to Adeleke and the PDP, however, asked the court to dismiss the appeals.

Ikpeazu argued that Obiorah was present throughout at the tribunal except for February 6.

He begged the court to uphold the verdict of the election tribunal.

Jummai Sankey, the judge who led the appeal panel, said the judgment date for the three appeals will be made public as soon as they are ready.

Judgements are reserved after all the parties have completed their arguments and all the written submissions have been filed in the court.

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