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Osun Guber: Adeleke Loses as Appeal Court Upholds Oyetola’s Victory




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(AFRICAN EXAMINER) – The Court of Appeal, Abuja Division has upturned the judgment of the Osun State Governorship Election Petition Tribunal which declared Senator Ademola Adeleke, the candidate of the opposition Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) the winner of the September 2018 poll.

In a dissenting judgment of (four-to-one), the five-man panel led by Justice Jummai Sankey, Thursday upheld the appeal filed by the incumbent Governor Adegboyega Oyetola.

The Governor has after the ruling of the lower court filed appeal, contending that he was duly elected.

In their ruling, four members of the panel resolved 10 out of the 12 counts in favour of Governor Oyetola and the two others in favour of Ademola and his party, the PDP.

The judgment was mainly anchored on the alleged absence of a member of the tribunal, Justice Peter Obiorah, who read the lead majority verdict of the tribunal, during the February 6, 2018 proceedings of the tribunal.

Justice Sankey held that absence of Justice Obiorah on that date nullified the entire proceedings and the verdict of the Tribunal.

Three other members of the panel, Justices Abubakar Yahaya, Isaiah Akeju and Bitrus Sanga, agreed with Justice Sankey.

However, the fifth panelist, Justice George Mbaba, dissented from the majority judgment, contending that the alleged absence of Justice Obiorah from the February 6, 2018 proceedings of the tribunal was mere speculation.

It would be recalled that the Independent Electoral Commission (INEC) had declared Oyetola and the APC the winner of the Osun State governorship election.

This was on the ground of the cumulative results of the September 22, 2018, for main election and the supplementary poll which held September 27, 2018.

The lower tribunal, in its March 22, 2019, split judgment of (two-to-one) upturned Governor Oyetola’s victory, holding that there was no basis for the supplementary poll.

Consequently, Senator Adeleke and the PDP were declared the winner of the election.

However, the Tribunal’s Chairman, Justice Ibrahim Sirajo, who delivered resenting ruling to oppose his colleagues, Obiorah and Adegboye Gbolagunte.

 

 


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