On Friday, the Court of Appeal sitting in Abuja made a significant decision regarding the nullification of Governor Ademola Adeleke’s election in Osun State. The appellate court, comprising of a three-member panel of Justices, unanimously agreed to vacate the tribunal judgement that invalidated Adeleke’s election. The court further explained that Adeleke’s appeal to challenge his dismissal by the Osun State Governorship Election Petition Tribunal had merit.
This decision was a landmark moment for Adeleke and his supporters, who had been challenging the ruling of the tribunal. The court’s decision not only set aside the tribunal’s judgement but also awarded N500,000 in costs against the All Progressive Congress (APC) and its candidate, Gboyega Oyetola. This ruling has been celebrated by Adeleke’s supporters, who view it as a significant victory for democracy.
In his lead judgement that was delivered by Justice Mohammed Lawal, the court explained its reasons for vacating the tribunal’s ruling. Justice Lawal emphasized that the tribunal’s judgement was flawed and lacked legal basis. He noted that the tribunal had erred in law when it invalidated the election of Adeleke, who had been duly elected by the people of Osun State.
The court’s decision to award costs against the APC and Oyetola was seen as a rebuke of their actions during the election petition process. The APC and Oyetola had challenged Adeleke’s election, arguing that he was not qualified to run for the governorship position due to allegations of academic malpractice. However, the court’s ruling has now quashed those allegations and reinforced the legitimacy of Adeleke’s election.
Overall, the decision of the Court of Appeal sitting in Abuja is a significant victory for democracy and the rule of law in Nigeria. It demonstrates the importance of respecting the will of the people and upholding the legal process. Adeleke’s victory is also a testament to the power of perseverance and the importance of fighting for what one believes in. As the nation looks forward to the next elections, this ruling serves as a reminder that justice will always prevail in the end.