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The Election Petitions Tribunal sitting in Osogbo on the August 9 Osun State governorship election has begun hearing the preliminary objections together with the substantive petition filed by Senator Iyiola Omisore to challenge re-election of Governor Rauf Aregbesola of the All Progressives Congress.

The Chairman of the tribunal, Justice Elizabeth Ikpejime, said on Today in her ruling that the panel would hear the issues of jurisdiction together with the petition of Omisore, who contested the election as the candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party.

Counsel for the petitioner, Dr. Alex Iziyon(SAN), had on Thursday prayed the tribunal to hear the preliminary objections and the petition together in order to save time but Aregbesola, had through his lead counsel, Chief Akin Olujinmi(SAN), raised an objection to this.

He said the issue of jurisdiction, which bothered on the competence of the petition, should be first heard before the substantive petition.

However, the panel, in the ruling delivered on Today, said all the four motions pending before it would be taken together with the petition.

Ikpejime said the tribunal had already lost some time, assuring the parties in the matter that members of the panel would do justice to their case.

Meanwhile, former Governor Olagunsoye Oyinlola of Osun State appeared as one of the counsel for Aregbesola on Today.

The announcement of Oyinlola as a counsel for the first respondent caused a stir as lawyers in the camp of the petitioner burst into laughter.

Oyinlola was removed as the governor of the state by the Court of Appeal in Ibadan on November 26, 2010, following the appeal filed by Aregbesola but the former governor had defected to the APC from the PDP.

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