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Friday, June 2, 2023

Adeleke, Oyetola know Osun Gov’ship fate today

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Osun State Governor Ademola Adeleke and his predecessor, Governor Gboyega Oyetola, will know their fate today as the Court of Appeal sitting in Abuja delivers judgment on the appeal filed by Adeleke. The appeal is challenging the decision of the Osun State Governorship Election Petitions Tribunal, which sacked him from office on January 27, 2023.

A three-man panel of the Court of Appeal led by Mohamed Lawal Shuaibu heard the counsel in the matter and reserved judgment. The state tribunal directed the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to withdraw the certificate of return issued to Adeleke and issue a fresh one to Oyetola as the duly elected governor of the state. The tribunal held that Adeleke did not score the majority of lawful votes during the July 16 governorship election in the state.

Adeleke, who ran as the candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), was declared the winner of the governorship poll held on July 16. However, in August 2022, Oyetola and his party, the All Progressives Congress, petitioned the tribunal to challenge Adeleke’s victory. They claimed that Adeleke did not qualify to contest the election and that there was over-voting in 749 polling units across 10 local government areas of the state.

In its judgment, two out of the three-member panel of the tribunal held that Oyetola could prove that there was indeed over-voting in some of the polling units. The judgment of the Court of Appeal today will determine if Adeleke will be reinstated as governor or if Oyetola will remain in office.

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