How Governor Adeleke Won at Appeal Court, Oyetola Fined N500,000

The Court of Appeal sitting in Abuja on Friday slammed N500,000 fine on the All Progressives and its candidate, Gboyega Oyetola as it set aside the tribunal judgment that nullified the election of Ademola Adeleke as governor of Osun State.
The unanimous decision was given by a three-member panel of justices, led by Justice Mohammed Lawal.
Adeleke to challenge his sack by the Osun State Governorship Election Petition Tribunal was meritorious.
The court also held that the sum of N500,000 is awarded as a cost against the All Progressive Congress and its candidate, Gboyega Oyetola.
During the ruling, the justice resolved that the preponderance of proof that there was over-voting in the elections rested on the petitioner.
The court also maintained that “the party alleging non-compliance with the electoral act must prove its case without merely relying on the weakness of the other party.”
Delivering judgment, Justice Mohammed Shaibu overruled the judgment of the governorship election tribunal that nullified the outcome of the July governorship polls.
The three-man panel revoked the tribunal’s order which directed that a Certificate of Return be withdrawn from Adeleke and issued to his predecessor and All Progressives Congress candidate, Oyetola.
The Osun tribunal had annulled Adeleke’s victory and affirmed Gboyega Oyetola of All Progressives Congress as the authentic winner of the poll.
The Independent National Electoral Commission had returned Adeleke as the winner of the poll.
INEC said Adeleke polled 403,371 votes to defeat then-incumbent Governor Adegboyega Oyetola of the APC, who got 375,027 votes
But Oyetola and the APC rejected the result of the poll and headed for the tribunal.
In its January 27, 2023 majority verdict, the Justice Tertse Kume-led tribunal annulled Adeleke’s victory and declared Oyetola the winner of the poll.
However, a minority judgment by Justice B. Ogbuli affirmed Adeleke as the winner of the poll.
Displeased, Adeleke and the PDP headed for the Court of Appeal.
The Court of Appeal heard the appeal on March 13 and reserved its judgment.
But the court of Appeal on Friday set aside the tribunal judgement.

Osun Tribunal: Appeal Court Reserves Judgement on Adeleke’s Appeal

The Court of Appeal sitting in Abuja has given an update on the Osun State governorship appeal filed by Governor Ademola Adeleke.
The court on Monday reserved judgement on the appeal.
The appeal filed by Adeleke of the Peoples Democratic Party is against a judgment of the tribunal which invalidated his election as governor of Osun State.
The three-member panel of justices led by Justice M.F. Shuaibu began sitting on the appeal at about 10am.While Adeleke is the appellant, Oyetola and the All Progressives Congress are 1st and 2nd respondents in the appeal marked: CA/AK/EPT/GOV/01/2023.
The Independent National Electoral Commission and the PDP are also joined as 3rd respondent and 4th respondents respectively.
The News Agency of Nigeria reports that the Osun State Governorship Election Petition Tribunal had on January  27, voided the July 16, 2022, election that produced Adeleke of PDP as the elected governor.
INEC had declared Adeleke the winner of the election after polling a total of 403,371 votes. He was said to have won in 17 of the 30 local government areas in the state.
But the panel led by Justice Terste Kume, in its judgment, invalidated the election and declared Mr Gboyega Oyetola of APC as the valid winner of the poll.
The tribunal directed INEC to withdraw the Certificate of Return issued to Adeleke and his deputy, Kola Adewusi, both of whom had been sworn in.
It, however, directed that the Certificate of Return should instead be issued to Oyetola.
Justice Kume held that the governorship election was not held in compliance with Nigeria’s Electoral Act. The tribunal also held that the governorship election was characterised by over-voting. It said after deducting the excessive votes, the figure Oyetola polled at the election was 314, 921.
The tribunal, thus, ordered that Oyetola should be returned as governor of Osun State.
NAN reports that INEC, in its earlier results, said Oyetola won in 13 LGAs with 375,027 votes in the July 16, 2022 governorship election.
Fifteen candidates contested for the poll which was keenly contested between Adeleke and Oyetola.
In his petition, Oyetola, the immediate-past governor of the state, had alleged that the election was characterised by over-voting in 749 polling units.
He also argued that Adeleke forged the academic credentials he submitted to NEC to contest for the election.
The tribunal had commenced sitting in August 2022, a few weeks after the governorship election. Oyetola and the APC were petitioners in the case with Lateef Fagbemi, SAN, and Akin Olujimi, SAN, as their lead counsels.
INEC was the 1st defendant, Adeleke the 2nd defendant and PDP as 3rd defendant.
The hearing was still ongoing as at the time of filing the report.