On Monday, the Appeal Court reserved judgment in Senator Ademola Adeleke’s lawsuit contesting the verdict of an electoral petition tribunal that annulled his victory in the Osun governorship race.
After hearing the argument and adopting the papers of all parties in the litigation, a three-member panel led by Judge Mohammed Shuaibu set the date for a decision.
During today’s hearings, Adeleke’s counsel, Onyechi Ikpeazu, claimed that a member of the panel, who is also a chief magistrate, did not express her opinion during the Judgement delivery. Rather, she just attached her signature, and the constitution requires her to have expressed her thoughts on the suit.
Counsel to Mr Oyetola, Lateef Fagbemi however held that mere signing of the judgment, and not making any comment afterwards does not make the judgment invalid.
He noted that the case of over voting exceeded 6 polling units as claimed by the Appellant, adding that the anomaly was experienced in 744 polling units across the state.
Senator Adeleke who is candidate of the People’s Democratic Party had won the said election held on 16 July, 2022, the result which was nullified on the grounds of over-voting.
Adeleke had in February, appealed the judgement of the Osun State Governorship Tribunal which nullified his election.
The tribunal ruled in favour of a former governor of the state Gboyega Oyetola. While delivering the judgement, two out of the three-member panel of the tribunal held that Oyetola proved that there was over-voting in some of the polling units.
But Adeleke swiftly rejected the ruling and described it as a “miscarriage of justice”. Weeks later, the governor filed an appeal before the Akure division of the Court of Appeal.
In the 31 grounds of appeal filed on Wednesday, Adeleke prayed the court for “an order setting aside the whole decision of the tribunal”.
The governor equally sought “an order striking out the petition for want of competence and jurisdiction or in the alternative, an order dismissing the petition on the merit”.
“The second respondent cannot ‘go lo lo lo lo’ and ‘buga won’ as the duly elected governor of Osun state,” the governor said.