The Supreme Court on Tuesday affirmed the election of Ademola Adeleke as the governor of Osun State. The Supreme Court said Gboyega Oyetola and All Progressives Congress (APC) failed to prove its case of improper accreditation of voters and over-voting against Adeleke.
A five-member panel of the apex court held that the court of appeal correctly reinstated Adeleke as governor.
The judgment is affirmed and adopted by the entire five members of the panel.
According to all the members of the panel, the appeal lacks merit.
The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) declared Adeleke as the winner of the Osun governorship election in July 2022. INEC Returning Officer for Osun, Oluwatoyin Ogundipe said Adeleke polled 403,371 votes to defeat his closest challenger Oyetola who polled 375,027 votes.
However, a three-member panel of the Osun State Governorship Election Petition Tribunal headed by Terste Kume set aside Mr Adeleke’s victory in its verdict delivered on 27 January.
In a two-to-one split judgment, the majority decision of the tribunal declared Oyetola the winner of the election.
But in late March, a three-member panel of the appellate court led by Mohammed Shuaibu unanimously overturned the earlier decision of the election petition tribunal which nullified the governor’s victory in January.
The immediate-past governor Oyetola, who came second in the 16 July 2022 election, had filed a petition challenging Adeleke’s victory.
The Osun State Governorship Election Petition Tribunal in Osogbo, which upheld the allegation of over-voting in the areas won by Adeleke, had declared Oyetola the winner of the poll after deducting “unlawful votes” from the PDP’s scores.
But Adeleke appealed against the lower court’s decision, urging the appellate court to set it aside and re-affirm his victory.
Shuaibu who prepared and read the lead decision said “the burden of proving the allegations of over-voting lies squarely with the respondents (Mr Oyetola and the APC).”
“It is inconceivable to assume that the testimonies of the respondents’ witnesses had any probative value,” the appellate court held.