GOVERNOR Rauf Aregbesola of Osun State, again floored Iyiola Omisore, a senator and gubernatorial candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, at the Court of Appeal sitting in Akure, the Ondo State capital, on Thursday, April 2. The court dismissed the appeal by Omisore in respect of the governorship election in Osun State, on August 9, 2014.
Omisore had approached the Appeal Court to challenge the ruling of the Osun State Elections Petition Tribunal delivered on February 6, which upheld the victory of Governor Aregbesola of the All Progressives Congress, APC. But in a judgement delivered by Justice Gana Mcshella on behalf of four other judges, declared that Omisore’s appeal lacked merit.
The court also upheld the cross appeal by Governor Aregbesola that Omisore’s petition ought to have been dismissed as an abandoned petition by the tribunal.
The court deemed Omisore’s appeal as incompetence saying the grounds for appeal did not arise from the tribunal’s judgment.
In determining the appeal, the court adopted the seven issues formulated by the appellants, Omisore and the PDP.
At the hearing, Alex Iziyon, SAN, leading counsel to Omisore, argued that the tribunal erred, saying that it failed to examine all the allegations and issues raised by his client. He claimed that the tribunal failed to address the allegations of corruption and non-compliance with the Electoral Act in the election producing Aregbesola as governor. Iziyon, therefore, urged the Appeal Court to discountenance the judgment of the tribunal.
But Akin Olujimi, SAN, counsel to Aregbesola and Rotimi Akeredolu, SAN, counsel to the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, objected to the grounds of the appeal, arguing that the tribunal was clear and unbiased in its ruling.
Olujimi said the ruling of the tribunal upholding the governor’s victory was unchallengeable as it was decided after a thorough investigation.
In its reaction, the APC in the state said the decision of the Court of Appeal had confirmed that the people did not want Omisore as governor.
In a statement by the party’s Directorate of Publicity and Research, the APC said that “for as long as Omisore persisted in cohesive politics and would not desist from objectionable disregard for truth, he will be unelectable. Also, for as long as the PDP remains under his leadership, that party will never again be voted to power in Osun.
“The truth of the matter is that Omisore has a crisis and no reasonable community or state will risk its future on such a personality.”
Omisore has, however, vowed to appeal the case.
— Apr. 13, 2015 @ 01:00 GMT