Barristers & Solicitors
Tribunal: Lawyers disagree over Adeleke’s blurred certificates
Gboyega Oyetola and Ademola Adeleke

The Election Petition Tribunal hearing the case emanating from the July 16 governorship election in Osun State was forced into adjournment on Thursday following the presentation of blurry documents used by Governor Ademola Adeleke for the 2018 elections.

The eight-page documents, presented by a Deputy Director of the Independent National Electoral Commission, Joan Arabs, included certified true copies of the testimonial obtained by Adeleke from Ede Muslim Grammar School, and the West Africa Examination Council General Certificate of Education.

The panel had last week Friday ruled that the INEC chairman should bring Adeleke’s filings for 2018 poll on its next sitting.

At the day’s proceedings, after checking the documents presented by INEC, counsel for the petitioners, Mr Lateef Fagbemi, SAN, who appeared with Akin Olujinmi, SAN, told the panel that two of the pages were not clear enough.

Fagbemi said the section for scores obtained by the candidate on the GCE result was blank, adding that the address of the school that awarded the testimonial was also not clear.

But counsel for INEC, Prof. Paul Ananaba, SAN, said the copies were clear and readable, urging the plaintiffs to allow the documents to be admitted.

Counsel for Adeleke and the Peoples Democratic Party, Onyeachi Ikpeazu, SAN, and Dr Alex Izinyon, SAN, respectively, said the documents were clear enough, but admitted some sections were blurred.

They, however, said the documents were still rectifiable and urged the petitioners to call their next witness while INEC should be made to present clearer copies.

Ananaba later called for stand down of the matter to enable him to obtain screenshots of the documents from the INEC headquarters in Abuja.

After the panel had reconvened, Ananaba presented both colour and black and white copies made from the screenshots obtained from the INEC head office, which he also admitted were not better than the copies earlier presented.