The Osun State Election Petitions Tribunal yesterday in Abuja ruled that Senator Ademola Adeleke fulfilled the constitutional requirements to be declared winner of the Osun State governorship election.
The panel held that Adeleke scored the majority of the lawful votes cast in the September 22, 2018 governorship election.
In the lead judgment by Justice Peter Chudi Obiarah, the tribunal further held that the re-run election in seven cancelled polling units on September 27 is null and void and of “no electoral effect.”
Subsequently, it ordered that the Certificate of Return issued to Governor Gboyega Oyetola of the All Progressives Congress (APC) is nullified and withdrawn. It ordered INEC to issue a fresh certificate of return to Adeleke as the duly elected governor.
The panel had in its findings stated that the INEC returning officer who cancelled the seven units on September 22, 2018 leading to the re-run election on September 27, 2018, acted illegally against INEC’s manual and guidelines for the election.
Ademola Adeleke of the PDP had polled 254, 698 votes against Gboyega Oyetola’s 254, 345 votes before the election was declared inconclusive.
The verdict of Justice Obiorah was concurred with by Justice Adegboye Ayinla Gbolagunte, making it a split decision of two to one.
However, the chairman of the tribunal, Justice Muhammed Ibrahim Sirajo delivered a minority judgment disagreeing with the conclusions
reached by the two other members of the panel. He dismissed the petition by the PDP and its governorship candidate, Adeleke, which alleged that there was non-compliance with the Electoral Act in the election.
Senator Adeleke has described the decision as a landmark judgment, saying the victory is the beginning of good things to come in Osun and Nigeria.
“My message to Osun people is that while they are happy celebrating, they should be calm, peaceful and law abiding,” he said.