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18 Oct 2018

Protest in court over alleged disbandment of Osun election tribunal

Members of the Peoples Democratic Party in Osun State are protesting on the premises of the Osun State High Court following the alleged disbandment of the Governorship Election Petition Tribunal hearing matters arising from the recently concluded governorship poll in the state.

Scores of PDP members while staging a peaceful protest in the court premises  carried  placards with the inscriptions such as ‘Why the sudden disbandment of the panel?’ Constitute a new panel immediately now?’ No more Salamigate in Osun’ Save our democracy from rogues'”

They said that the alleged disbandment would have a negative effect on the case of the petitioner.

A former Attorney General and Commissioner for Justice in Osun State, Mr Niyi Owolade, who is one of the counsels for the governorship candidate of the PDP in Osun State, Senator Ademola Adeleke, said the disbandment of the panel ought to have been done simultaneously with the constitution of a new one.

Adeleke’s counsel who raised the alarm while addressing journalists in front of the courtroom where the panel usually sat said the dissolution of the three-man panel headed by Justice T. A. Igoche, would adversely affect the prosecution of the case.

The counsel said that they were worried because they filed an exparte application for substituted service on the candidate of the All Progressives Congress, Alhaji Gboyega Oyetola and the APC who he claimed had been evading service.

He, however, said that members and chairman of the tribunal were nowhere to be found when the application was supposed to be heard today.

He said, “We were told by court officials that the panel has been disbanded. But what is more surprising is that a new panel has not been put in place. It should be done simultaneously.

“Our 180 days have started counting since October 16 and final judgment is expected to be given in this petition before April 16, 2019.”

Our correspondent observed that the venue of the tribunal was locked and the court officials told journalists that there would be no sitting but no reason was given.

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