The Court of Appeal sitting in Abuja, on Friday, set aside the judgment of the Osun State Governorship Election Petition Tribunal delivered on January 27, 2023, which had sacked Governor Ademola Adeleke from office.
The appeallate court gave the judgment in a 31-ground appeal filed by Adeleke.
Senator Adeleke of the Peoples Democratic Party had won the said election held on 16 July, 2022.
But not satisfied with the outcome of the poll, in August 2022, Oyetola, the former Osun governor and his party, the APC petitioned the tribunal to challenge the victory of Adeleke on the grounds that he did not qualify to contest the election and that there was over voting in 749 polling units across 10 local government areas of the state.
Consequently, a 3-man panel of the tribunal ordered Adeleke’s sack on the grounds of over-voting, and directed the Independent National Electoral Commission to withdraw the certificate of return issued to him and issue a fresh one to Gboyega Oyetola of the All Progressives Congress as the duly elected governor of Osun.
The tribunal held that Adeleke did not score the majority of lawful votes during the July 16 governorship election in the state.
In the judgment, two out of the three-member panel of the tribunal held that Oyetola proved substantially that there was indeed over-voting in some of the polling units.
Delivering judgment, the appellate panel led by Justice Mohamed Lawal Shuaibu held that the tribunal erred on the side of law by not addressing the issue raised by Adeleke in his preliminary objection to Oyetola’s petition.
“On the whole, the appeal is meritorious and thereby allowed.
“The 1st and 2nd respondents shall pay cost of N500,000 each to the appellant, the panel held.”