Quite obvious from the exchange on ChannelsTV just now that the APC in Osun has no case whatsoever to push at the Court of Appeal as the countdown to Oyetola’s exit from office commences.
The tribunal judgement in itself may even prove to be a constitutional landmark.
That INEC was unable to call a single witness despite four days of adjournment to defend the sham elections in Osun and especially the supplementary is an indictment on the officers of INEC in Osun.
As a matter of fact, one of PDP’s witnesses was an INEC adhoc staff.
The powers of INEC Returning Officers to cancel elections may prove to be a democratic landmark that challenges the conduct of supplementary elections – this wide ranging powers is an electoral overreach that explains why all of a sudden, elections end up inconclusively. By failing to curb this tendency in the Bayelsa election of December 2015, INEC opened itself up to the exploitation of conniving INEC ROs and compromising APC officers but the Osun tribunal judgement will most likely lay this to rest once it is upheld by higher courts.
It is instructive that under Attahiru Jega, such powers were never claimed by ROs but Yakubu Mahmud allowed it and today, it has become the norm – ROs cancel and cancel PU results where PDP won until the margins are close enough to force a rerun which APC then rigs.
That procedural loophole may now be closed – and all the reruns conducted so far in 2019 may eventually be deemed as unnecessary in the first instance –
Kano may then well be the first beneficiary of this judgement and we will keep an eye on that when the times comes. I’ve taken time to read the 26 pages of the minority judgement also – there’s nothing there for APC to go on with the appeal, mostly procedural excuses.
Their best bet will be Section 140(2) of the Electoral Act which however is inferior to the constitution as per another judgement.
That judgement upholds the constitutional powers of the courts/tribunals to determine which votes are valid or invalid – and it was never appealed, but even referenced by the Supreme Court.
It’s the end of the road for APC in Osun as I see it: Oyetola should write handover notes.
Kudos is owed to Dr. Onyechi Ikpeazu, Chief N.O. Oke, Dr. Paul Ananaba, Emeka Etiaba, Niyi Owolade and all the other brilliant lawyers who prosecuted the PDP case with all diligence.
This piece written by Demola Olanrewaju is adapted for our reading public