The Court of Appeal in Abuja is set to deliver its verdict today on an appeal filed by Osun State Governor, Ademola Adeleke, and his political party, the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP). The appeal challenges the nullification of Adeleke’s election by the Osun State Governorship Election Petition Tribunal. The tribunal, led by Justice Tertsea Kume, had, in a split decision of two-to-one, voided Adeleke’s victory in the governorship election held on July 16, 2022. The tribunal upheld a petition brought by Gboyega Oyetola, the All Progressives Congress (APC) candidate who came second in the election. The tribunal held that Adeleke did not score the majority of lawful votes, and that the conduct of the election did not comply with the provisions of the Electoral Act, 2022.
Adeleke and his legal team, led by Dr. Onyechi Ikpeazu, SAN, have challenged the decision, maintaining that it is a nullity. Adeleke’s grounds for appeal include the claim that the second member of the tribunal, Justice Rabi Bashir, failed to render her opinion on the petition, either orally or in writing, but merely appended her signature on the judgment. He also argued that the tribunal failed to consider the totality of evidence that was adduced before it. Adeleke accused the tribunal of bias, stating that it left the substance of the case and made reference to his dancing skill.
Adeleke further pointed out that the physical examination conducted on the BVAS established a case of over-voting in only six polling units in the state, not 744 polling units as held by the tribunal. Today’s judgment by the Court of Appeal will determine whether or not Adeleke will be reinstated as the governor of Osun State, or if the nullification of his election will stand.