From Lateef Dada, Osogbo
The Election Petition Tribunal sitting in Osogbo, Osun State, on Friday insisted that the subpoena compelling the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to produce the certificates and nomination forms submitted by the governor-elect, Ademola Adeleke, in 2018, must be obeyed.
The Resident Electoral Commissioner (REC) who appeared before the tribunal through a subpoena had told the panel that only the national chairman of the commission can produce the documents.
The petitioners, governor Adegboyega Oyetola and the All Progressives Congress (APC), and respondents had argued over the constitutionality of the subpoena directed to the state REC while the documents were in the possession of the national chairman.
Ruling on the arguments, the tribunal headed by Justice Tertsea Kume ruled that the mere appearance of the representative of REC has not answered the subpoena on the commission to produce the documents.
The tribunal said an application for subpoena is in Administrative Act and when it is granted, it becomes Judicial Act and the party upon which the subpoena is issued must comply.
Citing sections 218 and 219 of the evidence act, the tribunal said “an order of the court is bound to be complied with by the party upon which it was made until it is set aside by the court. In the instant case the order has not been complied with,” it added.
The tribunal further held that the request by the respondents that the petitioners should continue with the calling of the witness whose testimony is hanged on Adeleke’s credentials was baseless, as the petitioners have the absolute prerogative on how to conduct their case.
The panel said the application was consequent to the failures of the state REC of the commission to produce the documents requested in the subpoena.
The tribunal compelled the national chairman of the commission to produce the documents and adjourned the sitting to December 1.