The Osun Election Petitions Tribunal on Friday sacked Governor Ademola Adeleke from office, after 62 days at the helm of the state affairs.
Adeleke, who was declared winner of the July 16 polls was sworn in on November 27, 2022.
Justice Tetsea Kume, while delivering a majority decision on Friday, declared that the Independent National Electoral Commission did not comply substantially with the constitution and the provisions of the Electoral Act.
He subsequently deducted the over-voting observed from the votes scored by the candidates and declared that Oyetola won the election, having polled 314, 921, while Adeleke’s score came down to 290, 266.
The July 16 election was held across 3,763 polling units in the 30 local government areas in Osun state.
The Returning Officer for the election and Vice-Chancellor of the University of Lagos, Prof Oluwatoyin Ogundipe, announced that Adeleke got a total of 403,371 votes, beating the incumbent Governor Adegboyega Oyetola of the APC, who garnered 375,027 votes.
The PDP won 17 of the LGAs, while the APC won the remaining 13 LGAs.
The LGAs won by the PDP are Ede North, Ede South, Ifelodun, Boluwaduro, Egbedore, Odo Otin, Osogbo, Ila, Atakumosa West, Olorunda, Ilesa West, Obokun, Oriade, Orolu, Ife North, Irepodun, and Ejigbo LGAs.
The APC won in Boripe, Ilesa East, Ayedire, Ifedayo, Ife Central, Ayedaade, Iwo, Olaoluwa, Isokan, Atakumosa East, Irewole, Ife South, and Ife East LGAs.
Aggrieved by the election results declaration, the incumbent Oyetola on August 5, 2022 approached the Election Petitions Tribunal in Osogbo, the state capital, to nullify Adeleke’s win, alleging the election was filled with certain “irregularities.” INEC was named as first respondent in the suit.
Oyetola listed 13 grounds on which premises Adeleke should be disqualified including alleged submission of a forged certificate to INEC.
He assembled 50 lawyers including 10 Senior Advocates of Nigeria, among them Prince Lateef Fagbemi (SAN), Chief Akin Olujumi (SAN), Prince Biodun Layonu (SAN/, Muritala Abdulrasheed (SAN).
Adeleke prepares for tribunal
Adeleke on his part assembled about 52 lawyers, including seven Senior Advocates of Nigeria, to defend his case at the Election Petition Tribunal.
Dr Alex Izinyon, Dr Paul Ananaba, and Dr Onyeachi Ikpeazu are among the seven SANs defending Adeleke and other respondents.
INEC was represented by Ananaba with two other SANs and 14 lawyers.
The tribunal, led by Justice Tetsea Kume on August 22, 2022 granted Oyetola’s application to serve the candidate notice of the petition through substituted means.
It granted the motion ex parte filed for an order for the inspection of documents in the custody of INEC, the first respondent in the suit.
On November 1, 2022, Oyetola through his council Lateef Fagbemi tendered exhibits to the court including election results from Ede North, Ede South, and Osogbo local government areas.
Two days later, a Certified True Copy of the Bimodal Voter Accreditation System report of the election, and election results from three more local government areas in the state was tendered by counsel for the petitioner, Dr. Saka Layoonu, SAN.
Adeleke’s spokesperson, Rasheed Olawale, at the time said that tendering of documents by Oyetola was not in any way an indication of any judicial victory with his team preparing to challenge the documents in their final address.
On January 13, the three-man panel led by Justice Kume adopted their written addresses.
Delivering the judgement on January 27, Justice Kume directed INEC to withdraw Adeleke’s certificate of return and issue another one to Oyetola who won a majority of the lawful votes.
Ifunanya Ikueze is an Engineer, Safety Professional, Writer, Investor, Entrepreneur and Educator.