Adeyeye files 19-ground appeal against Olujimi’s tribunal victory

The senator representing Ekiti South senatorial district, Dayo Adeyeye has filed an appeal against the declaration of the former occupant, Senator Biodun Olujimi as the winner of the February 23rd poll.

While Adeyeye ran on the platform of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Olujimi, the immediate past Senate Minority Leader sought re-election on the platform of the People’s Democratic Party (PDP).

The three-member panel of the Tribunal led by Justice Danladi Adeck, had in a judgment delivered on 10th September 2019, ordered INEC to withdraw the Certificate of Return given to Adeyeye and issue a fresh one to Olujimi.

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In the notice of Appeal filed at the Ado-Ekiti Division of the Court of Appeal, the Chairman of Senate Committee on Media and Public Affairs is seeking two reliefs in his bid to upturn Olujimi’s victory at the Tribunal.

Adeyeye prayed the appellate court “to allow the appeal and set aside the declaration and return of Olujimi.”

The Senate spokesman urged the Court of Appeal to affirm his declaration and return by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) as the winner of the senatorial poll held in the district on February 23.

Respondents in the appeal are: Olujimi (1st), PDP (2nd), INEC (3rd) and APC (4th) as the Appellant is challenging the whole decision of the Tribunal.

The three-member panel of the Tribunal led by Justice Danladi Adeck, had in a judgment delivered on 10th September 2019, ordered INEC to withdraw the Certificate of Return given to Adeyeye and issue a fresh one to Olujimi.

Adeyeye in his appeal averred that the Tribunal’s verdict was a miscarriage of justice complaining that votes cast for his party (APC) were wrongfully nullified by the panel to arrive at its conclusion.

The Appellant maintained that the trial judges erred in law by relying on the evidence of Petitioners Witnesses (PWs) 1, 3 to 14, result sheets and voters registers to nullify the results of the election at the concerned polling units and consequently deducting 2,207 votes from the votes of APC and 933 votes from the votes of PDP.

Adeyeye averred: “The Tribunal itself had discountenanced the evidence led by the PW 15 on Exhibits P4 to P84 on the premise that he was not there when those documents were being filled and that the documents constituted documentary hearsay in his hands.

“It was shown that the PW15 did not sign the attendance register on two days, to wit: 12/4/19 and 16/4/19 and the PW15 admitted under cross-examination that the attendance register was signed on each day of inspection.

“The Tribunal relied on speculation and oral evidence to vary the contents of the voter register. There was no indication as to what was inspected on the said two days of 12/4/19 and 16/4/19. The decision of the Tribunal occasioned a grave miscarriage of justice in this regard.

“The Tribunal itself referred to the case of Andrew & 1 Anor. v. INEC & Ors. (2018) 9 NWLR (PT 1625) 5 where the Supreme Court held that the evidence required in an election matter is not the one  which was picked up from perusing documents made by others but of eyewitnesses who were present when entries in the form were being made and could testify how the entries in the documents were arrived at.”

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