A few weeks ago, the much-awaited tribunal judgement, regarding the legal tussle that followed the July 16th 2022 Governorship Election in Osun State, was delivered. Instead of being laid to rest, as everyone should have expected in a political-legal battle, the case was being assessed for an appeal.
The beauty of democracy as being tested and being one of the major respondents in the case, the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), seems to have its hands tied as the judgement delivered by the tribunal did not only vindicate the petitioner, Gboyega Oyetola, it technically put the integrity of the INEC in line. Hence, the thoughts in the public domain, are whether INEC would allow itself to be completely humiliated by furthering the case to the Court of Appeal or run away from the delicate status the case has brought on its dimming image.
Beyond any form of acceptable legal objection, the petitioner was able to prove its case that, despite the deployment of the Bimodal Verification and Accreditation Machines (BVAS), there was a tremendous and shabby level of overcoming, running into over one hundred thousand (100,000) illegal votes.
The petitioner proved its case by comparing the number of accredited voters on the INEC Results Viewing (iREV) portal and the total number of votes cast by the electorates, as recorded by the electoral commission.
Worsting the situation for INEC, which primarily formed the basis for which appealing to the case by INEC was considered delicate, is the strange fact that INEV issues four different results from the same election. No matter the influence of the respondents, there is already a dent in the image of the INEC.
For this course, there is a tough host of arguments and concerns that are being raised out there, mostly, on whether or not INEC would appeal to the tribunal judgement that sacked Ademola Adeleke and declared Gboyega Oyetola as the Osun State duly elected governor in the July 16th, 2022 poll.
All things being considered equal, it would be technically disastrous for INEC to appeal to such a sound judgment that has its premises laid on technical evidence that would be difficult to deviate from.
For instance, INEC was the only institution that was empowered by the Constitution to certify any document that could be legally accepted as an election-related document in Nigeria. Accordingly, INEC certified that the commission issued the report of the BVAS that was presented by Oyetola and the commission also gave another report that was presented by PDP to the party. Likewise, the commission itself went to the court with its independent report.
Regrettably, there are a lot of discrepancies and overwhelming variations in the reports given to each of these parties. Unfortunately, in the same election, INEC could not be solitary in its accountability.
This forced the tribunal to resort to considering the timing factors, as when each of the documents was issued by the Commission.
Oyetola was the one that first collected the report, 11 days after the election was completed.
; Adeleke got his report after the tribunal has been constituted in August while INEC came up with its own when the tribunal discovered discrepancies between reports presented by Oyetola and Adeleke.
The burden on INEC now, which may considerably stop the commission from appealing the case, is if the commission has enough evidence to establish the situation that led to the production of four different results, including the results that were used to declare the winner on the day of the election, from the same election?
Like your thoughts, INEC as a public institution would surely want to run away from putting itself into the mud of judicial shame. Particularly, in a situation where the tribunal has created a scene which may be clouded by the Court of Appeal if the commission fails to withdraw and pushes for rebuilding its integrity in future elections.
Recall that the tribunal, in part of its judgement, stated that INEC seemed to have tampered with public documents. This statement is a subject of the variations in the results brought before the court by the petitioner, Oyetola; respondent, Ademola Adeleke and the commission itself. It was believed that the variations were caused by human attempts to alter the original document that was presented to Oyetola, who was the first to access the document so that the document would speak to the record of total votes cast, mindless of the fact that Oyetola already has the original copy of the BVAS report.
Just like it happened to Osun State Independent Electoral Commission (OSIEC), in the case of PDP vs the commission and the Local Government chairmen and councillors elected under Oyetola's administration, INEC may also choose to protect its integrity by not appealing to Oyetola's victory at the Tribunal.
Tag: Oyetola news Inec osun news
Written by Ejiro Hassan (ejiro)
Published 2/7/2023 6:42:49 AM