On Monday, the Court of Appeal in Abuja reserved its decision in an appeal brought by Mr. Ademola Adeleke of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) against the tribunal’s decision invalidating his election as governor of Osun.
The three-member panel led by Justice M. F. Shuaibu, after listening to counsel to Adeleke, Onyechi Ikpeazu, SAN, and Lateef Fagbemi, SAN, who appeared for the immediate-past governor, Mr Gboyega Oyetola, said judgment would be delivered at a later date.
While Adeleke is the appellant, Oyetola and the All Progressives Congress (APC) are 1st and 2nd respondents, respectively, in the appeal.
The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) and the PDP are also joined as 3rd respondent and 4th respondent, respectively.
Although INEC was represented by Paul Ananaba, SAN, and PDP by Alex Iziyon, SAN, neither party filed a lawsuit in the matter.
Also, the appellate court is anticipated to hear the cross-appeals submitted by PDP, INEC, and Oyetola.
The Osun State Governorship Election Petition Tribunal had declared the election of Adeleke of the PDP as governor on July 16, 2022 invalid on January 27, 2019.
INEC had declared Adeleke the winner of the election after polling a total of 403,371 votes.
He was said to have won in 17 of the 30 local government areas in the state.
However, in its ruling, the tribunal presided over by Judge Terste Kume ruled the election unlawful and named Mr. Gboyega Oyetola of the APC as the legitimate victor.
The court ordered INEC to revoke the certificates of return that had been given to Adeleke and his appointed replacement, Kola Adewusi.
Instead, Oyetola was instructed to receive the certificate of return.
According to Justice Kume, the governorship election was not conducted in accordance with the Nigerian Electoral Act.
The tribunal also held that the governorship election was characterised by over-voting.
According to the report, Oyetola received 314, 921 votes overall after the extra votes were subtracted.
As a result, the panel mandated that Oyetola be reinstated as governor of Osun State.
In earlier results released by INEC, Oyetola was declared the winner of the July 16, 2022 governorship election in 13 LGAs with 375,027 votes.
The election, which featured 15 candidates and was hotly contested by Adeleke and Oyetola, featured 15 candidates.
The state’s recently-departed governor, Oyetola, said in his plea that there was over voting in 749 of the polling places during the election.
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