Governor Ademola Adeleke of Osun state has been affirmed by the Supreme Court of Nigeria as the duly elected governor of the state.
Delivering judgment on Tuesday, a five-member panel of the apex court held that the court of appeal correctly reinstated Adeleke as governor.
In March, the court of appeal sitting in Abuja reinstated Adeleke as the governor of Osun state.
A three-member panel of justices of the court of appeal held that the 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 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, 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’.