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Adeleke And Oyetola Aides Clash Over Osun Tribunal Judgement

On Friday, the Chairman of the Osun State Governorship Election Petition Tribunal, Justice Terste Kume sacked the sitting Governor of the State, Ademola Adeleke.

Gatekeepers News earlier reported that Justice Kume said former Governor Gboyega Oyetola scored the majority lawful votes of 314,931 against Adeleke’s 219,666, thereafter declaring the earlier announced result of the July 16 election null and void.

During an interview on News Central on Monday Legal Counsel to Governor Ademola Adeleke, Niyi Owolade, and the Chief Press Secretary to former Governor Oyetola, Ismail Omipidan expressed their conflicting reactions over the judgement.

Owolade stated that “right from the day we started the proceedings,… the Chairman Honourable Justice Terste Kume has never been faired to us.

“On the day, 27th of January, he came up with this absurd ruling, I was surprised that an experienced judge would come up with such…”

He noted that Justice Kume “jettisoned the primary source of evidence and rather opted for secondary source of evidence when we know that the best evidence is in the primary source.”

On the credibility of the BVAS ahead of the forthcoming elections, he said, “the BVAS is a wonderful machine, the BVAS works.”

Owolade, however, noted “the BVAS gets the reports at respective polling unit, but then transmits to the backend server, the problem is that it takes time because it need synchronising.”

He added that synchronisation take some time because of network issue.

On the next step of the Governor, Owolade stressed that the judgement will be appealed, emphasizing their confidence.

In reactions to the claims of Owolade, Omipidan, stressed that the alleged bias of the chairman of tribunal ought to have been raised in the open court, but Adeleke camp never did so.

On the figures of the voters, Omipidan noted that voting was still on as at 10:30pm at Ede North and South on the Election Day, adding that those who he observed were on the queue at that time, were not there as at 2:30pm in accordance with the guideline.

He added after witnessing this “even though I don’t have the record of other local governments, with what I witnessed in Ede North and South, I was convinced that something was wrong with the results.”

He spoke further, “After analysing the BVAS report, we came to the conclusion that there were overvoting in over 700 polling units and that was why we filed our petition. And so the second BVAS report, which they (Adeleke’s camp) now refer to as the synchronised BVAS report was obtained after seeing what we already filed.”

He noted that as of the time the first BVAS report was handed to them, “they never informed us that the data there has not been synchronised.”

On Justice Kume’s language in the judgement, “The 2nd respondent [Ademola Adeleke] cannot ‘go lo lo lo lo’ and ‘Buga won’ as the duly elected Governor of Osun State in the election conducted on 16th day of July 2022. See Kizz Daniel song, Buga. Rather, we hereby hold that the 1st petitioner [Gboyega Oyetola] scored a majority of lawful votes in the said election and is hereby returned as such,” Omipidan said, “I do not think that is enough plan to oppose the decision of the tribunal.”

On Adeleke’s qualification to contest, he said “as of the time of contesting for the election, we believe very strongly that he was not qualify to stand for the election,” adding that he still believes that the Governor is not qualified despite the judgement of the tribunal which nullified this.

On his opinion about the BVAS, “I believe very strongly that this BVAS is a game-changer because it was through the BVAS that we were able to establish the overvoting, without BVAS, we would not have been able to establish overcoming.”

Meanwhile, the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has urged registered voters in the 436 designated Polling Units (PUs) nationwide to participate in Saturday, February 4, mock accreditation exercise with the Bimodal Voter Accreditation System (BVAS).

The INEC Chairman, Prof. Mahmood Yakubu said, “In the unlikely event of challenges, we have time between the conclusion of the exercise and the general elections to respond to the challenges.”

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