The tussle for who the authentic winner of the September 22 gubernatorial election is has finally been decided.
In what has turned out to be a disappointing run for Senator Gboyega Adeleke, the Supreme Court judgement has put paid to his pursuit to get what he termed his ‘stolen mandate’ recovered and licking his wounds.
Much had been said and from both sides penultimate to today’s ruling on what both termed their confidence in winning.
Both parties had gone spiritual as they organised prayer sessions on the matter.
According to Punch, shortly after the judgment date was made public, PDP members had embarked on 21 days fast and prayers.
Also an internal memo circulated among members of the party sighted by The Punch also revealed that members had engaged in a seven-day praise-singing starting from Friday, June 28.
The memo directed that the praise session would hold between 12 and 3am daily to seek the face of God ahead of the judgment.
The ruling APC had also organised prayer sessions in nearly all the nine federal constituencies across the state.
Speaking in one of the prayer sessions held in Ikirun, the headquarters of Ifelodun/Boripe/Odo Otin Federal Constituency on Tuesday, Supervisor for Information, Mr. Lani Baderinwa, urged APC members to disregard the purported celebration by members of the opposition, describing it as “hopeless and deceitful.”
Baderinwa said the party was confident of victory because it won the September 22 and 27 governorship election.
But the state secretary of the PDP, Prince Bola Ajao, had urged members of the party to prepare for governance because it won the governorship election, adding that the Supreme Court would affirm the party’s mandate in its judgment.
In the judgement today at the Supreme Court, the court in a majority decision of 5 to 2 upheld the victory of Gboyega Oyetola of the All Progressives Congress.
The Supreme Court, in a majority decision read by Justice Olabode Rodes-Vivour, held that the failure of a member of the election tribunal, Justice Peter Obiora to sit on February 6, 2019 rendered the entire proceedings and the judgment given by the tribunal a nullity.
Acting CJN, Tanko Muhammad, Justice Rhodes-Vivour, Justice Kekere-Ekun, Justice Sanusi and Justice Abaaji consented to the majority judgment dismissing PDP’s appeals on Osun election. Justices Akaahs and Galinje dissented.
The main election was held on September 22 while a supplementary election was held on September 27 in seven polling units.
The electoral commission, INEC, had declared Mr Oyetola winner of the election after the supplementary poll.
Mr Adeleke, who claimed he polled the highest number of votes in the election, asked the tribunal to cancel the victory of Mr Oyetola and declare him the winner of the election.
The Osun tribunal ruled in Mr Adeleke’s favour and declared him the winner of the election. In a split judgment of two to one, the tribunal ruled that INEC was wrong to have ordered a rerun election. It nullified the rerun.
The court also ruled that INEC did not comply with its guidelines on results from 17 polling units.
The tribunal then deducted the results of both parties from the declared total of votes in the affected 17 polling units.
According to the tribunal, the PDP won the election with 254,698 votes, while the APC came second with 253,452 votes.
The tribunal also said that the PDP would still have won the poll even if it had opted to validate the supplementary election.
But in a contrary opinion in May, the Court of Appeal ruled that “the tribunal was in patent error when it set aside the rerun.”
The appellate court, which had also delivered its verdict in a split decision of four to one, ruled that the judge who issued the majority decision at the tribunal, Peter Obiora, was absent on February 6, 2019, when a major discussion on the issue of none-compliance was tabled before the tribunal; and could therefore not have viewed the issue squarely.
Apparently dissatisfied, Mr Adeleke challenged the decision at the Supreme Court.
But today’s ruling puts paid to the contention leaving Mr Adeleke to lick his wounds and Mr. Gboyega Oyetola to continue as governor for the next four years.
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