The Osun State Governorship Election Petition Tribunal sitting in Abuja has declared Ademola Adeleke as winner of the September 2018 election in the state and ordered the Independent National Electoral Commission to issue him with the certificate of return.
In a split decision, two of the three-man tribunal upheld the petitions filed by the candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Ademola Adeleke and the PDP, challenging the victory of the All Progressives Congress (APC) and Governor Gboyega Oyetola at the September 2018 governorship election.
The Chairman of the tribunal differed from the two and upheld Oyetola’s election.
PDP and Adeleke asked the tribunal to declare that he polled the highest lawful votes and should be declared the winner.
But Oyetola, APC and INEC had filed their notices of preliminary objection contending among others that the petition was incompetent and that the court lacked jurisdiction.
The tribunal’s majority verdict also held that the supplementary election by INEC in seven cancelled units on Sept. 22,2018, was null and void.
The tribunal ruled that the Returning Officer who cancelled the results had no power to do so
The tribunal had earlier dismissed the objections of the APC and Oyetola. It said Adeleke’s petition has merit.
The two-man majority also declared the rerun election as illegal.
Delivering the ruling, Chairman Ibrahim Sirajo, held that the objections were misconceived and struck them out.
The Tribunal held that the CTC should and must be an exact replica of the EC8A pink copies.
The discrepancies must therefore be explained and justified by INEC.
In this instance, the tribunal held, INEC failed to explain nor justify the alterations and that they failed to call any witness to justify the alterations.
The tribunal held that the attempt to explain the alterations on the basis of mere corrections of errors is not acceptable and the fact that the said errors were consistently made in the disputed areas means it was a deliberate action taken.
*Updated at 18.27 Hours on Friday, with information that the Tribunal gave a split judgement.