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Supreme Court affirms Oyetola as Osun governor

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ON Friday, the Supreme Court in Abuja upheld the electoral victory of Gboyega Oyetola candidate of the All Progressives Congress, APC, in the 2018 Osun governorship election.

Justice Bode Rhodes-Vivor, who delivered the judgement of the seven-man judge’s panel gave a split decision with five votes in favour of Oyetola while two consented to Ademola Adeleke of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP.

The apex court nullified the judgement of the tribunal that declared Ademola Adeleke as the winner of 2018 Osun Guber polls but agreed with the decision of Court of Appeal to the March 22 judgement of the Osun State election petition tribunal.

The appellate court ruled that the judge who had read the majority judgement at the tribunal, Peter Obiora, was evidently absent on February 6, when vital documents were presented before the court.

The Supreme Court set aside the entire proceedings of the tribunal and affirmed the election victory of the APC’s candidate.

After a rerun election in September 2018, the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, had declared Oyetola winner of the Osun governorship election.

Adeleke, filed a petition at the election petition tribunal to contest the victory of Oyetola of the APC which the tribunal ruled in favour of the petitioner as the winner of the September 2018 election. 

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The Osun tribunal in a split judgment of two to one ruled that INEC was wrong to have ordered a rerun election and nullified the rerun.

In May, the Court of Appeal in its verdict in a split decision of four to one ruled that the judge who issued the majority decision at the tribunal, stated that Peter Obiora, a panel judge of the tribunal was absent on February 6, 2019, when a major discussion on the issue of none-compliance was before the tribunal and could not have shown objectivity in his judgement.

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Amos Abba is a journalist with the International Center for Investigative Reporting, ICIR, who believes that courageous investigative reporting is the key to social justice and accountability in the society.

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