The Supreme Court has affirmed Ademola Adeleke as the governor of Osun state.
The Apex court set aside the appeal by Adegboyega Oyetola of the All Progressives Congress (APC) challenging the election of Ademola Adeleke of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) as Osun State Governor.
The apex court held that the appellant failed to adduce enough evidence to prove his allegation of over voting in the July 16, 2022 governorship poll.
The judgment was affirmed and adopted by the entire five members of the panel.
According to all the members of the panel, the appeal lacked merit.
The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) had declared Adeleke the winner of the poll, saying he scored 403,371 votes to sack Oyetola who was the then incumbent with 375,027.
In March, the court of appeal sitting in Abuja reinstated Adeleke as the governor of Osun.
A three-member panel of justices of the court held that the Osun election tribunal erred when it ruled that the 1st and 2nd respondents (Gboyega Oyetola and the All Progressives Congress) proved their allegation of over-voting.
According to the panel of judges, Adeleke is the duly elected governor of the state.
The Osun governorship election tribunal, in January, held that Oyetola was able to prove that there was over-voting in some of the polling units.
Consequently, the majority judgment of the tribunal ordered the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to withdraw the certificate of return issued to Adeleke and issue a fresh one to Oyetola as the duly elected governor of Osun.
Dissatisfied with the ruling, Adeleke appealed the judgment at the court of appeal.
In August 2022, Gboyega Oyetola, former Osun governor, and the APC petitioned the tribunal to challenge the victory of Adeleke.
Among several issues, Oyetola contended that there was overvoting in 749 polling units across 10 LGAs of the state.
Delivering judgment on January 27, two out of the three-member panel of the tribunal held that the petitioner was able to prove that there was indeed over-voting in some of the polling units.
Consequently, the majority judgment of the tribunal ordered INEC to withdraw the certificate of return issued to Adeleke and issue a fresh one to Oyetola as the duly-elected governor of Osun.
“For the sake of emphasis, the total lawful votes for each of the candidates after the said deduction of the invalid votes is 314,931 for the first petitioner, and 290,666 for the second respondent,” Tetsea Kume, who read the majority decision, said.
“Consequently, the second respondent did not score a majority of lawful votes cast at the election. The declaration and return is hereby declared null and void.
“The second respondent cannot ‘go lo lo lo lo’ and ‘buga won’ as the duly elected governor of Osun state in the election conducted on the 16th day of July, 2022. See Kizz Daniel song, ‘Buga’.