The Osun State Governorship election petitions tribunal has nullified the election of Ademola Adeleke as Governor of the state.
In its ruling on Friday, the tribunal declared Gboyega Oyetola of the All Progressives Congress (APC) the validly elected governor of the state.
Delivering its judgement on Friday, the tribunal held that the governorship election was characterized by over-voting, adding that after deducting the excessive votes, Oyetola’s figures rose to 314, 921, while Adeleke’s came down to 290, 266.
The tribunal led by Justice Terste Kume, therefore, instructed the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to withdraw the certificate of return issued to Adeleke and his deputy, Kola Adewusi. It directed that the certificate of return be issued to Oyetola instead.
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Adeleke of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) defeated Oyetola in the July 16, 2023 poll in the state.
INEC declared Adeleke the winner after polling 403,371 against Oyetola’s 375,027 votes.
Though there were 13 other candidates in the Osun governorship election, it was dominated by Adeleke and Oyetola.
The PDP candidate was victorious in 17 of the 30 Local Government Areas (LGAs) in the state governorship poll. The remaining 13 LGAs were, however, taken by Oyetola of the APC.
Not satisfied with the declaration by the electoral umpire, Oyetola had filed a petition at the tribunal challenging the declaration of Adeleke as the winner of the election.
He asked the tribunal to nullify the election, hinging his case on alleged rigging by overvoting, infractions in some polling units, and the authenticity of the West African Examination Council (WAEC) certificate presented by the PDP candidate among other grounds.
Meanwhile, Governor Adeleke has faulted the judgement, describing it as “a miscarriage of justice”. He also vowed to appeal the ruling which he says is “an unfair interpretation against the will of the majority of voters”.
“I call on our people to remain calm. We will appeal the judgement and we are sure justice will be done,” Governor Adeleke was quoted as saying in a statement by his spokesperson Olawale Rasheed. “Let our people be reassured that we will do everything possible to retain this widely acclaimed mandate.”
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