Ademola Adeleke’s election as governor of Osun State was declared invalid by the tribunal on Friday, but the Court of Appeal in Abuja overturned the decision.
In a unanimous ruling, the appellate court determined that Adeleke’s appeal against being fired by the Osun State Governorship Election Petition Tribunal was meritorious. The three-judge panel led by Justice Mohammed Lawal reached this conclusion.
The All Progressive Congress, APC, and its candidate, Gboyega Oyetola, were adjudged to pay N500,000 in costs, according to the court’s ruling.
The judge decided that the petitioner had the burden of proving that there had been excessive voting in the elections during the rule.
Also, the court affirmed that “the party alleging non-compliance with the electoral legislation must show its case without solely relying on the rival party’s weakness”
In his ruling, Judge Mohammed Shaibu overturned the tribunal’s decision declaring the results of the governorship elections in July invalid.
The three-person panel overturned the tribunal’s judgment mandating that Adeleke’s Certificate of Return be withdrawn and given to Oyetola, the All Progressives Congress candidate.
The Independent National Electoral Commission had declared Adeleke the winner, and the Osun tribunal declared Gboyega Oyetola of the All Progressives Congress to be the true winner of the election.
APC candidate and then-incumbent Governor Adegboyega Oyetola received 375,027 votes, according to INEC, while Adeleke received 403,371 votes.
Oyetola and the APC, however, contested the election’s outcome and went to court.
In its majority decision on January 27, 2023, the tribunal, presided over by Justice Tertse Kume, proclaimed Oyetola the winner of the election and revoked Adeleke’s victory.
Adeleke was declared the poll’s winner by Judge B. Ogbuli in a minority decision. Adeleke and the PDP made their way to the Court of Appeal after becoming upset.
On March 13, the Court of Appeal heard the appeal but did not render a decision. However, the court of appeals overturned the tribunal’s decision on Friday, recognizing Adeleke as the legitimate victor and governor of Osun State.