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Appeal court hears Oyinlola, Aregbesola today

ByGbenga Olarinoye
OSOGBO—The Court of Appeal sitting in Ibadan will today hear the appeal brought by the Action Congress of Nigeria, ACN, candidate in the 2007 governorship election in Osun State, Mr Rauf Aregbesola as well as a cross-appeal filed by Governor Olagunsoye Oyinlola.

Aregbesola in the appeal is asking the appellate court to set aside the judgement of the Justice Ali Garba tribunal which dismissed his petition as lacking in merit.

Prince Oyinlola on the other hand in his cross-appeal is among other things, asking the appeal court to strike out the petition of the ACN candidate because it was filed out of the legally allowed time frame.

Oyinlola was declared winner of  the April 14 2007 election with  426,669 votes beating his closest rival, Aregbesola who polled 240,722 votes.

The Appeal Court, presided over by Justice Victor Omage had sent the case back for re-trial on 30th March, 2009 following the refusal of the tribunal to admit a security report and the report of a forensic expert, Adrian Forty by the trial tribunal.

A new tribunal headed by Justice Ali Garba later sat on the case and admitted all evidence produced by all the parties.

The new panel in its judgement also accepted Oyinlola’s electoral victory even as it dismissed the forensic report brought by Aregbesola as unreliable, especially since the author said his team was still working on it in London while the court proceedings were on in Osogbo.

Oyinlola had written the then Inspector General of Police, Mr. Mike Okiro to release the author of the report to give evidence in court and in an April 2009 letter to Oyinlola, Okiro declared that the document was fake and the authors non–existent on the nominal  roll of the Nigeria Police.

Aregbesola with one of his lawyers was subsequently arrested and charged to court in Abuja for conspiracy and forgery.


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