Appeal Court sitting in Abuja has reinstated and affirmed the victory of Senator Ademola Adeleke as the Osun State Governor, faulting the lower Election Petition Tribunal ruling that earlier sacked Adeleke from office.
Osun State Election Petition Tribunal had sacked Adeleke from office, saying that the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) candidate did not score majority of lawful votes during the July 16 governorship polls.
Certified true copy of the judgement of the Osun State Governorship Election Petition Tribunal led by Justice Tertse Kume indicated that Nigerian music star, Kizz Daniel was referenced while the lower court delivered its judgement, sacking Davido’s Uncle, Ademola Adeleke as Osun State Governor.
A copy of the certified true copy of the Tribunal Judgement made earlier available by the Press Unit of Osun State Government, the Chairman of the Tribunal, Justice Tertse Kume had said Senator Ademola Adeleke cannot go Buga as the duly elected Governor of Osun State in the election conducted last year July 16, 2022, citing Kizz Daniel popular music, “Buga” on the ground that the election was characterized by over voting.
“The 2nd Respondent (Ademola Adeleke) cannot “go 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’s song,” Justice Kume noted in his judgment.
Accordingly, after revalidation of the total votes cast, in the majority judgement issued by two judges against one, the Tribunal ordered Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) that the Certificate of Return issued to Adeleke be withdrawn and issued to Adegboyega Oyetola, the candidate of All Progressives Congress, APC and the immediate past governor of the state.
Justice Tertse Kume ruled that Oyetola scored the majority lawful votes of 314,931 against Adeleke’s 219,666.
However, in a unanimous agreement by a three-man panel led by Justice Mohammed Shuaibu on Friday, the Court of Appeal quashed the tribunal’s judgement and gave its verdict to uphold Adeleke as the rightful governor of Osun State.
The Appeal Court revoked the tribunal’s order which directed that a Certificate of Return be withdrawn from Adeleke and issued to his predecessor and All Progressives Congress (APC) candidate, Gboyega Oyetola.
Justice Mohammed led Appeal Court Panel held that the Osun State Tribunal was wrong to have said that there was over voting, a claim that only relied on the evidence by Oyetola and the APC, and as such, doesn’t prove their case in any way.
Appeal Court faulted Oyetola and APC, that they only relied on the data from the back end server and failed to look at the voters register which forms the foundation of the whole electoral process and as such, cannot strengthen their allegations of over voting.
Also ruling on the issue of jurisdiction, the Appeal court resolved in favour of Adeleke stating that, according to section 285(8) of the constitution as amended, the court has every right to entertain the appeal.
The court also awarded the sum of N500, 000 against the All Progressive Congress, and its candidate, Gboyega Oyetola.
Meanwhile, the Osun State Governor, Ademola Adeleke, has extended an olive branch to the immediate past governor, Gboyega Oyetola, asking him to join hands with him in building the state together.
Adeleke made the call after the Appeal Court ruling on Friday.
“Let me use this opportunity to extend sincere hands of fellowship to former Governor Oyetola and the APC. Let’s build the state together. Let us unite for the good of our people. The State needs leaders across party lines to join hands for robust and accelerated development of the state.
“As brothers and sisters, we are all requested to start the process of healing. Forget party politics as the election is over. All members of the political class in Osun state should join hands with me to take our state to greater heights.“I thank God Almighty and our good people of Osun state. I dedicate this victory to God and my people. This judgement confirmed my earlier position that the judgement of the Tribunal is a miscarriage of Justice. The judiciary has right the wrongs of the lower Court. This has rekindled the confidence of the nation in the integrity of the judiciary as the stabiliser of the judiciary and the last hope of the common man.
“I am particularly glad that the Court of Appeal has ruled that the BVAS machine and voters register are the primary sources, not the report from the server. This has strengthened our democracy and removed a time bomb which the judgement of the Tribunal had planted for our democracy.
“I appreciate Osun people for standing by me and my party through repeated validation of my governorship mandate at the recent federal and state elections. My party won three straight elections from July 16th 2022 to the March 18th, 2023.
“It was a resounding vote of confidence in my governorship by the people of Osun state. The judiciary has now confirmed the will of the people that I am the validly elected Governor of my state.
“My appreciation goes to the civil servants, artisans, market people, clerics, students, women and youth. Osun people defended the mandate from 2022 to date.
“I commend the judiciary for resisting all pressure. Rule of law is strengthened when judgement affirms the will of the people. On behalf of Osun people and my party, the PDP, we appreciate the judiciary and the men of conscience on the bar and the bench”, Governor Ademola Adeleke said in a statement he personally signed.