By KAZEEM MOHAMMED
The Court of Appeal sitting in Akure on Tuesday said, the source of the ‘Supplementary Record of Appeal’ presented by the lawmaker representing Obokun constituency, Adeyemi Adewumi at the hearing of the case challenging his election must be unveiled.
This followed a suspected ‘fraud’ discovered in the said record, purportedly certified by the registrar of the election tribunal in Osogbo and transmitted by Adewumi, a Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) lawmaker.
The All Progressives Congress (APC) candidate at the election, Honourable Olatunbosun Oyintiloye had challenged the election on the ground that it was fraught with irregularities.
The tribunal, presided over by Justice Ita Enyom nullified the purported election, holding that the petitioner had established over-voting in the result of the election, particularly in four wards.
The PDP candidate then filed an appeal against the judgement of the lower tribunal.
At the hearing of the appeal on Tuesday, Counsel to the APC candidate, Yinka Okedara called the attention of the court to the record, tagged ‘supplementary record of appeal’, saying the document contains false information.
One of such false information, he said was where the record stated that only the Chairman of the tribunal sat throughout the proceedings, contrary to the fact that all the three members of the panel were present throughout except once during the pre-hearing when only one judge was absent.
He also told the court that the PDP lawmaker who is the appellant falsely sworn to an affidavit that the tribunal members were not present in specific days, even when he as an appellant was not in court in the days mentioned, describing this as absurd.
Upon assessment of the document, the Appeal panel Chairman, Justice Olabisi Omoleye inquired to know the source of the document because he supervised the tribunal judges and found that they were all present in the course of the assignment.
Worried about what transpired, the panel Chairman said, “This is strange and must be looked into by the judiciary.
“As if we are in a jungle. The reality is that I was the Supervisor of that tribunal and they were all present when I visited. Where then did this document come from.
“Appellant counsel, you are a lawyer, is this document really genuine, was it properly certified. No signature, no date but just stamp which is even different from the one used on the record transmitted to us by the registrar of the tribunal himself”, Justice Omoleye queried.
In defence, Counsel to the appellant, Edmund Biriomoni said he paid for the Certify True Copy of the document, saying he was not aware that the certification did not have the signatory of the registrar and date.
He added: “My Lord, I’m sorry, I didn’t know that the document was not properly done. I have filed the record before I realised it”.
The appellant’s counsel then offered to withdraw the record already filed before the court.
The APC counsel, Okedara subsequently informed the court that he had spent so much in getting the correct record and affidavit from the lower tribunal chairman, asking for a cost of N500,000 to cater for the expenses incurred.
Biriomoni offered to pay a cost of N20,000 to cater for the expenses of the respondents.
The panel Chairman then struck out the purported ‘supplementary record’ and the subsequent motion filed to challenge it and awarded a cost of N400,000 against the appellant.
Both the appellant and the respondents through their counsels then adopted their briefs of argument on the appeal and the tribunal reserved judgement till a further day that would be communicated to parties.