By Andy Chukwu
The Appeal Court has reserved judgment over appeals filed by Gboyega Oyetola, Governor of Osun State and the All Progressives Congress (APC) against the earlier verdict of the Osun State Gubernatorial Election Petition Tribunal.
The five-member panel of the court took the decision after on Wednesday after all the parties have completed their arguments and all the written submissions have been filed in the court.
Wole Olanipekun, a Senior Advocate of Nigeria (SAN) and counsel to Oyetola had asked the court to withdraw the judgment of the tribunal, arguing that it was unknown to the law because Peter Obiorah, the judge who prepared and read the tribunal judgment did not participate fully during the hearing of the petition.
On its part, INEC, through Yusuf Ali, SAN, its lawyer, told the appellate court that the findings of the tribunal were not correct as they were based on unverified documents submitted by Adeleke and the PDP.
Onyechi Ikpeazu, SAN, counsel to Adeleke and the PDP, however, asked the court to dismiss the appeals.
Ikpeazu argued that Obiorah was present throughout at the tribunal except for February 6.
He begged the court to uphold the verdict of the election tribunal.
Jummai Sankey, the judge who led the appeal panel, said the judgment date for the three appeals will be made public as soon as they are ready.
The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) had announced Oyetola as winner of the September governorship election, but in March, the election tribunal declared Ademola Adeleke, candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), as winner and asked INEC to issue a fresh certificate of return to him.
Oyetola, however, rejected the judgment, filling three appeals.