2023 Election Law Bulletin – The Osun Tribunal sacking of Adeleke and why INEC Chairman should resign immediately
Hon. Justice T. A. Kume that delivered the lead judgment of the Osun Governorship Tribunal sacking Adeleke the dancing Senator made two debatable quotes thus:
1. Nneke the bird in the Novel, Things Fall Apart, 1958 by Chinua Achebe ..”Men have learnt to shoot without missing, she has learnt to fly without perching ”
2. Cited Kiss Daniel song Buga that ” That the 2nd Respondent cannot ‘go lo lo lo lo lo’ and ‘Buga won’.
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You may make whatever you want with the above quotes of the judgment but these are not the falcrum on which the case turns.
What is worrisome about the case and I see real danger for 2023 elections is the credibility of INEC to handle the BVAS machine report of accredited voters. In this case INEC certified 3 different and inconsistent reports of BVAS machine accreditation thus:
1. Exhibit BVR relied upon by the Petitioners
2. Exhibit R. BVR relied upon by the Respondents and
3. Exhibit RWC relied upon by Justice B. A. Ogbuli who delivered the dissenting judgment.
All the 3 exhibits contains different reports of the actual number of accredited voters as purportedly recorded by BVAS for the Osun Governorship election of 16th July 2022. All the 3 reports have inconsistent figures with each other. All the 3 were certified by INEC as correct. Just imagine 🙄
Anyway the majority judgment relied on the report BVR to nullify the votes of Adeleke in 744 polling units. This report was generated earlier and almost immediately after the election on 27th July 2023 about 11 days after the election. The Tribunal found this closer to the truth.
R. BVR was issued by INEC on 22nd August 2022 over one month after the election and when the case was already in Court. This was the report of accreditation relied upon by the Respondents.
The last report, RWC was also gotten about 2 months after the election.
The facts of this case makes nonsense of the assurance by INEC that record of accredited voters by BVAS machine will be available and complete in real time on the the exact day of the election. There will be nothing credible about 2023 elections if total number of accredited voters by BVAS machine will not be complete on the day of election and we have to wait for a whole 2 months or more before there will be “synchronization” with the back end server. Synchronization and back end server will be most invoked in 2023 election petitions. Better get your legal team ready 😅
As a matter of fact, the mere issuance of 3 different report of accredited voters by BVAS machine which are inconsistent with each other has completed eroded confidence reposed on INEC to conduct free, fair and credible election. This single fact is sufficient in my view to ask for immediate resignation of INEC Chairman.
Little Wonder the Tribunal found the subsequent two reports to amount to tampering with official document.
Whether the Tribunal is right or wrong, the mere existence of 3 different report of accreditation by BVAS machine calls for mass resignation of INEC officials. The Chairman should lead by example on this.
Note: Above is my personal opinion and is not an analysis of the merit or otherwise of the case on appeal. Consult an Election Law Expert on that. No free lunch even in freetown 😁
P. D. Pius, Esq, ACIArb. (UK)