OSOGBO – The Osun State Election Petition Tribunal sitting in Osogbo, yesterday, granted a subpoena filed by the petitioners, Governor Adegboyega Oyetola and the All Progressives Congress (APC) to invite the Resident Electoral Commissioner (REC) of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) over form CF001 that contains the nomination form of the second respondent and governor-elect, Ademola Adeleke.
The lead counsel to the petitioners, Dr. Saka Layoonu SAN, said the subpoena was delayed because the tribunal has not signed it for subsequent service on the REC.
He thereby urged the tribunal to adjourn till November 21 to allow the bailiff effect the service of the subpoena.
The lead counsel to INEC, Prof Paul Ananaba SAN, opposed to the adjournment, saying the petitioners are wasting time on their petition.
He cited paragraph 18(11) of the schedule to the Electoral Act, APP v REC 2008 NPELR 8322 paragraph 18(12) and Owolabi v Bakare NPELR 21968, Court of Appeal decision, submitting that the petitioners have flagrantly disobeyed paragraph three of the pre-hearing order, and “when a party is unprepared to participate, the court should dismiss the petition.”
Noting that the petitioners did not lead the subpoena in their petition, Ananaba said 104 days have been used out of 180 days and the petition should be dismissed.
Owolade and Oke adopted the submission of INEC’s counsel, saying the petitioners are not seriously committed to the prosecution of their case and the petition should be dismissed.
Responding, Layoonu said objection can only be raised after the subpoena has been signed and served, noting that the petitioners have pleaded the subpoena on page 134 of Volume 1 paragraph 69(VI) of their petition.
The tribunal headed by Justice Tertsea Kume granted the prayer of the petitioners to summon INEC REC and subsequently adjourned the matter to Monday, November 21, for continuation of hearing.