Earlier today the Osun Governorship Election Petition Tribunal sacked the incumbent governor of the state, Ademola Adeleke.
Adeleke’s victory at the governorship polls last July was challenged at state tribunal by the former Governor of the state and All Progressives Congress (APC) candidate, Gboyega Oyetola.
Among other issues, Oyetola challenged Adeleke’s eligibility to contest the election and also claimed that there was overvoting in 749 polling units across 10 Local Government Areas of the state.
In their ruling on Friday, two out of a three-member panel of the tribunal held that the petitioner was able to prove that there was over-voting in some of the polling units.
While reading the majority decision of the panel, Tetsea Kume held that INEC did not comply substantially with the constitution and the provisions of the electoral act.
Kume subsequently declared that Oyetola won the election, having polled 314,931 defeating Adeleke who scored 290,666.
He also directed INEC to withdraw the certificate of return issued to Adeleke and issue a fresh one to Oyetola as the duly elected governor of Osun.
The court held that Adeleke was eligible to contest the poll.
Meanwhile in his reaction, Adeleke who described the judgement as “a miscarriage of justice” has vowed to appeal the judgement, he added that it is “an unfair interpretation against the will of majority of voters”.
“I call on our people to remain calm. We will appeal the judgement and we are sure justice will be done. Let our people be reassured that we will do everything possible to retain this widely acclaimed mandate.” He said.
Although the tribunal has sacked Adeleke as the governor of Osun state, he will still remain in office pending appeal.
This is according to constitutional lawyer, Festus Ogun who made this known in a tweet on his handle @mrfestusogun.
Quoting section 138 of the Electoral Act which made provision for persons elected to remain in office pending determination of appeal, Ogun said Adeleke shall remain in office for the period of 21 days within which he’s entitled to file an appeal against the judgment of the Tribunal.
He further added that if Adeleke chooses not to appeal, then he’s mandated to leave office after 21 days. However, in the case where he files an appeal against the ruling, he shall remain in office pending the determination of the appeal and shall enjoy all the benefits that accrue to the office.
Adeleke to Remain in Office, Pending Appeal
Notwithstanding the decision of the Tribunal, S. 138 of the Electoral Act, 2022 provides that Adeleke shall remain in office for the period of 21 days within which he’s entitled to file an appeal against the judgement of the Tribunal.
— FESTUS OGUN (@mrfestusogun) January 27, 2023
Section 138 (1) of the Act reads: “Where the election is nullified by the Court and notice of appeal against the decision is given within the stipulated period for appeal, the elected candidate shall, notwithstanding the contrary decision of the Court, remain in office and enjoy all the benefits that accrued to the office pending the determination of the appeal and shall not be sanctioned for the benefits derived while in office”
Subsection 2 of the same section also reads: “If the Election Tribunal or the Court, as the case maybe, determines that a candidate returned as elected was not validly elected, the candidate returned as elected shall, notwithstanding the contrary decision of the Election Tribunal or the Court, remain in office pending the expiration of the period of 21 days within which an appeal may be brought.”