The court of Appeal has set aside the tribunal judgement annulling the election of Ademola Adeleke as governor of Osun State. The court sitting in Abuja on Friday, in a unanimous decision by a three-member panel of justices led by Justice Mohammed Lawal Shaibu overruled the verdict of the governorship election tribunal that nullified the election of Adeleke at its sitting last January 27.
The Appellate court said the petitioner, Gboyega Oyetola, former governor of Osun State failed to prove that there was over-voting in the election. According to the court, “the party alleging non-compliance with the electoral act must prove its case without merely relying on the weakness of the other party.” It, therefore, reversed the order by the tribunal asking the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC to withdraw the certificate of return from Adeleke and issue the same to Oyetola.
The court of appeal, therefore, ruled that the prayer of Oyetola and his All Progressives Congress, APC failed, thus affirming Adeleke as the winner of the election held last July. It also awarded a sum of N500, 000:00 as cost against Oyetola and APC.
With the verdict of the court of appeal, the minority judgement by Justice B. Ogbuli at the tribunal that Adeleke won the election has been upheld. Ogbuli had disagreed with his two other colleagues on the tribunal panel who ruled that Adeleke be removed as governor of the state. Justice Tertse Kume, chairman of the panel read the majority judgment annulling the victory of Adeleke at the election.
INEC had announced Adeleke winner of the election with 403,371 votes against Oyetola’s 375,027 votes.
The verdict of the court of appeal has re-affirmed the result announced by INEC.
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