Osun Tribunal Declares Oyetola Winner, Adeleke set to appeal

Adeleke urged his supporters to remain calm and vowed to appeal the judgement at the Court of Appeal, insisting he remains the rightful winner of the July 16 election.

Ademola Adeleke and Gboyega Oyetola

The Osun State Election Tribunal led by Justice Tertsea Kume on Friday passed judgment on Oyetola’s petition against the victory of Adeleke in the July 16 poll.

Kume said that INEC did not comply substantially with the constitution and the provisions of the Electoral Act.

He subsequently deducted the over-voting observed from the votes scored by the candidates and declared that Oyetola won the election, having polled 314, 921, while Adeleke’s score came down to 290, 266.

Consequently Adeleke’s victory was nullified having lost 113,105 votes with his old foe, Oyetola, declared winner of the election.

But the embattled Governor of Osun State, Senator Ademola Adeleke, has described the judgement of the governorship tribunal removing him from office and declaring Adegboyega Oyetola as the duly elected governor as ” a miscarriage of justice”, and has vowed to challenge the ruling at the Court of Appeal.

In his reaction to the verdict of the Tribunal from his country home, Ede, Governor Adeleke faulted the resolution of the over-voting question in favour of Mr Oyetola, calling it “an unfair interpretation against the will of majority of voters.”

Adeleke urged his supporters to remain calm and vowed to appeal the judgement at the Court of Appeal, insisting he remains the rightful winner of the July 16 election.

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“I call on our people to remain calm. We will appeal the judgement and we are sure justice will be done. Let our people be reassured that we will do everything possible to retain this widely acclaimed mandate”, Governor Adeleke declared.

The Osun State Governorship Election Petition Tribunal sitting in Osogbo had earlier declared the All Progressives Congress (APC) candidate in the July 16, 2022 poll in the state, Adegboyega Oyetola, as the winner of the election.

Reading the majority judgment, the chairman of the tribunal, Justice Tertsea Kume, said the election was marred by over-voting.

He thereby deducted the number of over-voting presented by Oyetola and APC.

He said having deducted the over-voting figure, Oyetola scored 314,921, while Ademola polled 290,266 votes.

Meanwhile, security personnel took over all areas in Osogbo, the capital of Osun State,  as the Governorship Election Petition Tribunal delivered its judgment in the Oyetola-Adeleke governorship tussle.

Former Governor Oyetola is challenging the victory of Ademola Adeleke during the governorship election held on July 16, 2022 over anomalies in 749 polling units, and certificate forgery.

There was heavy security presence at Ola-Iya Junction, Oke-Fia, Old-Garage, Lameko as policemen, men of Nigeria Security and Civil Defense Corps and Amotekun as well as other security operatives surrounded the Tribunal premises and other sensitive areas in the town.

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The Independent National Electoral Commission had last year declared Adeleke, the Peoples Democratic Party governorship candidate, the winner of the July 16 election.

The Returning Officer for the election and Vice-Chancellor of the University of Lagos, Prof Oluwatoyin Ogundipe, announced that Adeleke got a total of 403,371 votes, beating the incumbent Governor Adegboyega Oyetola of the APC, who garnered 375,027 votes in the keenly contested race.

Meanwhile, the Coalition of United Political Parties (CUPP) has also rejected the verdict of the Osun State governorship election petitions tribunal which sacked governor Ademola Adeleke, describing it as a “black market purchased judgment”.

A statement issued on Friday by the Co-National Spokesperson for CUPP, Mark Adebayo, however, expressed optimism that justice would be done.

He said, “We are not perturbed because justice will eventually be done on this case. The same way that fuel scarcity is biting hard across the country and motorists have to resort to the black market to buy fuel is the same way that we consider this judgment as a black market purchased judgment that we are confident will eventually be overturned by higher courts.

“It is a temporary attempt to rob the Osun State people of their sovereign will and the judicial processes through its remedial mechanisms will do real justice to correct this anomalous injustice in the name of judgement. That it was a split decision judgment says a lot about its lack of merit.

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“The mandate willfully given by the Osun State people to Governor Adeleke remains intact and any attempt to steal it will fail woefully.”