The petitioner before the Osun State Election Petition Tribunal and Governor of Osun State, Mr. Adegboyega Oyetola, on Wednesday, sought adjournment of the matter, following the inability to serve the Resident Electoral Commissioner of the Independent National Electoral Commission summons to appear before the panel.
But the decision to seek adjournment by the plaintiff was rejected by the respondent’s counsel, who urged the tribunal to dismiss the petition for lack of preparedness by the petitioner.
At the resumption of hearing, counsel for the plaintiff, Mr. Saka Layoonu, SAN, had informed the panel of a subpoena dated November 3, and filed on November 8, for service on the Osun REC INEC for him to tender before the court form CF001 containing certificates and other documents of the 2nd respondent, Senator Ademola Adeleke.
Layoonu also said the plaintiffs were unable to serve the REC and asked that the matter be adjourned to allow service of the summons on the INEC’s officer.
Reacting, counsel for the 1st defendant, INEC, Prof. Paul Ananaba, SAN, asked the panel to dismiss Oyetola’s petition over lack of preparedness by the petitioners.
Ananaba said the REC that was being summoned was not listed in the petition, adding that the day’s sitting marked 104 out of 180 days constitutionally given to the panel to hear and adjudicate on the matter, with the calling of witnesses yet to be done.
He accused the petitioners of wasting the time of the panel and plotting to frustrate the respondents.
Messrs Niyi Owolade and Nathaniel Oke, SAN, representing Adeleke and the Peoples Democratic Party in the matter, both aligned with the submission of Ananaba and urged the panel to dismiss the petition.
But Layoonu, in his reactions to issues raised, said the plaintiffs were prepared for the matter, asking the panel to ignore calls from the respondents that the case should be dismissed.
He also said on page 134, paragraph 69 (vi) of the plaintiffs’ petiton, that it was stated that the petitioner would file INEC’s nomination form of the second respondent and other relevant documents.
He declared that it was the prerogative of the plaintiffs to use the time allocated to them before the panel the way they liked within the provisions of the law.
In his ruling, the tribunal chairman, Justice Tertsea Kume, explained that summons on the REC was issued by the tribunal Tuesday evening and would subsequently be served on the INEC officer.
He subsequently adjourned the matter till Monday, November 21, for continuation of hearing.