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Friday, December 9, 2022

Tight security as Osun Tribunal begins sitting

By Michael Ofulue,
Osogbo

There were heavy presence of security personnel at the premises of the Osun State High Court, sitting in Osogbo, the state capital, , where the Governorship Election Petition Tribunal was holding.

 The three-man panel of judges began sitting at about 9am on Monday, following the outcome of the July 16 gubernatorial poll. Where INEC declared Senator Ademola Adeleke as the winner of the election.

Members of the panel are: Justice Tertsea Aorga Kume( Chairman), Benedict Amangbe and Bashiru Rabi.

The Osun State Police Command deployed an Armoured Personnel Carrier (APC) and several police vans which were strategically positioned in front of the court to ward off hooligans and troublemakers.

Those entering the premises, including journalists and judicial officers, were thoroughly frisked before being allowed entry.

Governor Gboyega Oyetola had approached the court to challenge the victory of Senator Ademola Adeleke of the People’s Democratic Party who was declared winner by the Independence National Electoral Commission (INEC).

Meanwhile, Oyetola had requested to relocate the sitting of the Tribunal to Abuja due to security reasons.

But the President of the Appeal Court had on Friday rejected the request, adding that security agencies in the State had assured the Court of their co-operation and support in enhancing the security of the Tribunal and its sittings.

The Chairman of the Tribunal, Tertsea Aorga Kume, had in his inaugural speech, promised that they would act truly as unbiased umpire and won’t betray the confidence reposed in them by the Appeal Court President.

He, however, adjourned the sitting till October 4, 2022 for hearing.

Speaking to Journalists, Counsel to the first defendant, Barrister Nathaniel Oke (SAN) said they were in court to defend their victory saying he was optimistic that the court will affirm their victory.

“We merely deal with preliminary. We have not gotten to the level or stage of hearing proper. There are certain aspects of procedures that we need to attend to before we can now go to trial of the case proper.

“We are very ready for the trial we want to defend our victory. In 2018, it went the other way but this time around, by the grace of God, they would fail,” he said.

Also speaking, the petitioner’s Counsel, Barrister Joshua Olatoke (SAN) said the tribunal adjourned in order to be fair with the respondents.

He said: “We supposed to commence the hearing section this morning but unfortunately the respondents said they were served with the pre hearing notice this morning and they have to react.

“In order to be fair with them tribunal adjourned till next week for them to take their time, fill the form and come back for pre hearing Section.

Comrade Kehinde Ayantunji who represented the petitioners, Governor Gboyega Oyetola and the All Progressives Congress (APC) expressed confidence in Tribunal just as he said they were ready to prove their case against the defendants.

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