Monday 22 August 2022

Osun Election Petition Tribunal: How my life was threatened at Adeleke's residence - Bailiff panel grants Oyetola's prayers to inspect electoral documents ...orders substituted service of petition's copy to Adeleke

The Osun Election Petition Tribunal sitting in Osogbo has granted the prayers of the All Progressives Congress, APC and Governor Adegboyega Oyetola to inspect electoral documents and other vital records used in the conduct of the July 16 governorship election in the State.

The Tribunal also granted the motion ex parte for substituted means service on the 2nd respondent, Senator Ademola Adeleke.

This is just as the bailiff told the Tribunal that he had to scamper for safety when he went to the residence of Senator Ademola Adeleke to serve him a copy of the petition.

Recall that Governor Oyetola and his party, APC, had challenged the results of the election and dragged Senator Ademola Adeleke (Governor-elect) and his party, People's Democratic Party (PDP) before the Election Petition Tribunal for justice.

The counsel to the petitioners, Yomi Aliyu (SAN) at the sitting of the Tribunal on Monday, said the 2nd respondent, Senator Ademola Adeleke has been evading the court service.

Aliyu explained the extent at which Adeleke has been frustrating the bailiff's efforts to be properly served and received a copy of the petition.

He sought an order of the tribunal to order INEC to allow the petitioners to access and scan the electoral materials used for the conduct of the election.

In his ruling, the Chairman of the Tribunal, Justice Tertsea Aorga Kume granted the applications for substituted service by allowing the bailiff to paste a copy of the petition at the tribunal notice board for the attention of the 2nd respondent, Ademola Adeleke.

Justice Kume also ordered the 1st respondent, the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to give access to the 1st and 2nd petitioners to access the electoral documents used for the election and subsequently scan the ballot papers and relevant documents as so desired.

"The application is hereby granted. That the petition No. EPT/OS/GOV/01/M1/2022 should be pasted on the notice board of this Tribunal and all other processes in respect thereof for the attention of the 2nd Respondent, and same shall be deemed good and proper service on the 2nd Respondent accordingly ordered", the Panel Chairman ruled.

Addressing journalists shortly after the proceedings, Aliyu, SAN, said "We brought two applications, one application is for court service while the other one is for the inspection of documents and you know when we are arguing application, we refer to one exhibit particularly where the bailiff said he went to serve the 2nd respondent at his residence in Ede, but the gate was locked. 

"According to bailiff, he knocked the gate but they asked him to speak to somebody and he spoke to the person and the next thing the person told him was like a threat, so he had to leave the place for his safety. As he puts it, " I left the place for my safety"

"So we have submitted the applications before the Tribunal and they have granted the applications, first to inspect the documents and to serve the 2nd respondent by substituted means  service.

"On how soon the judgement will be, I can say that this will be the fastest Election Petition in Nigeria because all the time we hitterto used to spend  calling numerous witnesses will not be there, this will be limited and it will be timeout, there won't be any problem with that," he added.

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