The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) says no final statement can be made yet regarding the tribunal’s stand on the 2022 Osun State Governorship election.
This is as the electoral umpire held that it would be wrong to pre-empt the outcome of the case which is now before the Appeal Court.
INEC made the declaration in its reaction to Friday’s tribunal judgment which sacked Governor Ademola Adeleke from office and gave victory to Adegboyega Oyetola of the All Progressives Congress (APC).
It could be recalled that two out of a three-member panel of the tribunal held that the petitioner (Oyetola) was able to prove that there was over-voting in some of the polling units.
The Tribunal held that “After deducting invalid votes due to over–voting, Adegboyega Oyetola scored 314, 931 while Governor Ademola Adeleke scored 290, 666.”
The tribunal, thereafter, ordered the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to withdraw the certificate of return issued to Adeleke and issue a fresh one to Oyetola as the duly elected governor of Osun from the July 16, 2022 polls.
Adeleke however argued that he won fair and square and has appealed the tribunal’s judgment at the Court of Appeal.
Speaking on the tribunal’s verdict and the current situation in Osun State, INEC national commissioner and chairman, Information and Voter Education Committee, Barr. Festus Okoye, said until the judicial process runs its full course, nothing can change.
Okoye said the tribunal is only the first stage in the process and it would only be right to wait for the outcome of the other higher judicial processes since the tribunal’s position has been appealed before making any statement or taking any step.
“The judicial process must be allowed to run its full course.
“The governorship election tribunal is the Court of first instance in election petition proceedings. The aggrieved party in this instance has indicated a desire to appeal against the judgement. It will be prejudicial to prejudge the outcome of the appeal,” Okoye said.