There was a mild drama on Thursday as the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) produced Form CF001, containing WAEC-GCE certificate and Secondary School Testimonial of Governor Ademola Adeleke before the Osun Election Petitions Tribunal, sitting in Osogbo.
This presentation of the certificate was in compliance with the order of Justice Tertsea Kume, the Tribunal Chairman, on Nov. 25.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that Kume had ordered the National Chairman of INEC to produce Form CF001, after INEC in Osogbo office said the documents were not in it’s custody, but with its Headquarters in Abuja.
Lead Counsel to INEC, Prof. Paul Ananaba, informed the court that the order given had been complied with and that the documents had been brought from Abuja by Mrs Joan Arabs, a Deputy Director.
Arabs, thereafter, presented the documents to the court, which was admitted and afirmed that the documents had been produced in compliance to the order.
However, Mr Lateef Fagbemi, Counsel to the petitioners (APC and Gboyega Oyetola), after going through the two pages documents, told the tribunal that the documents produced by INEC (Form CF001) were not legible and could not be used to prosecute their case.
Fagbemi pointed out that they paid N305,000 for the documents and that the first document, West African Examination Council (WAEC) – General Certificate of Examination (GCE), does not have anything/result details on it and that only the signature at the bottom was legible.
He also said that the second document, School Testimonial, obtained from Ede Muslim Grammar School by Adeleke, does not have the address or location of the school on it.
Fagbemi told the court that the documents could not be used or managed by them, saying that they were not clear and legible.
The petitioners’ counsel urged the tribunal to take note of their objections to the documents produced by INEC.
Kume upheld the objection of the petitioners and ruled that the respondent (INEC) had not fully complied with the tribunal’s order to produce Form CF001, saying that the documents produced were not legible.
The tribunal chairman then, ordered that INEC should produce a clearer and readable copies of the documents.
INEC counsel, thereafter, asked the tribunal to allow it snap the documents in their custody in Abuja and forward same, so that the hearing could go on.
Kume then granted the request and gave a break of one hour 30 minutes for INEC to get the documents.
As the hearing continued after the break, Ananaba said INEC Abuja had made the screenshot of the copy of the documents, which he printed and presented to the tribunal.
Kume, however, said that the copies were not better than what the INEC Deputy Director brought.
After the arguments and submissions from the petitioners and respondents’ counsel, they agreed that the original file containing the Form CF001, in INEC custody in Abuja, be brought to before the tribunal next week.
The tribunal chairman said it was unfortunate that the respondent (INEC) could brought uncleared and blurred copies of the documents requested by the petitioner.
He said it was agreed that sittings shall be held week days, weekends and even, public holidays, from the on set of the Tribunal’s pre-hearing.
Kume then adjourned next hearing to Dec. 3, asking INEC to produce clean and clear copies of the original file containing Form CF001.
He said that if INEC failed to comply with the order, it would result or compel the tribunal to invoke its power.