Oyetola’s bid to sack Adeleke suffers setback as Appeal Court nullifies Osun governor’s APC nomination
Bid by the Osun State Governor, Adegboyega Oyetola to prevent Senator Ademola Adeleke from being sworn-in as the next state’s chief executive officer, suffered a major setback, Friday, as the Appeal Court in Abuja reserved judgement on the ruling of the Federal High Court which had nullified the election of the All Progressives Congress (APC) candidate and his deputy to represent the party at the 2018 polls.
The Appeal Court also upheld the High Court ruling voiding the election of Governor Oyetola in the last APC governorship primary election in Osun.
Since losing his re-election bid last July, Governor Oyetola has been at the State Elections Tribunal seeking to turn around the outcome of the poll which was won by the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) candidate, Adeleke, last July 16.
Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), Sunday morning, July 17, officially declared Adeleke, as winner of the governorship elections, conducted earlier Saturday, across the 30 local government areas of the state.
According to INEC, Adeleke polled a total of 403, 371 votes to beat his closest challenger and incumbent State Governor, Adegboyega Adeleke of the All Progressives Congress (APC) who had garnered 375, 027 votes.
The Labour Party’s candidate, Lasun Yusuf received a surprise 2,729 votes in the election.
The results announced by the Independent National Electoral Commission registered that out of the votes counted across the state, Senator Adeleke received 403,371, unseating the incumbent, who scored 375,027 votes.
Returning Officer, Professor Oluwatoyin Ogundipe who is also the Vice Chancellor of the University of Lagos returned Adeleke, having scored the required number of votes and in fulfillment of the extant laws.
The PDP candidate won in 17 out of thirty Local Governments Areas with 403,371 votes to defeat APC’s Oyetola who won in 13 LGAs with 375,027 votes.
Action Democratic Party finished distant third with 10,104.
However, delivering the ruling of the Appeal Court, Justice Emeka Nwite reserved his earlier verdict (at the Federal High Court) in which he voided the nomination of Oyetola and his deputy, Benedict Alabi, while also declaring that Mala Buni who submitted Oyetola name to INEC violated the Nigerian constitution by holding dual executive positions as the governor of Yobe and the head of APC caretaker committee in Abuja.
This decision was reached by a three-member panel of the court on Friday after hearing pleas and arguments from both parties.
The appellant court reserved judgment on the appeals by Oyetola, the candidate of the All Progressives Congress in the last gubernatorial election in Osun, and the ruling party.
In their prayers, the APC and Oyetola urged the court to set aside the September 30, 2022 ruling of the Federal High Court in Abuja delivered by Justice Emeka Nwite.
Justice Nwite had voided the nomination of Oyetola and his deputy governorship candidate, Benedict Alabi as APC’s candidates in the primary election.
Reserving his earlier verdict, Nwite held that Governor Mai Mala Buni (the then Chairman of the APC’s caretaker committee) who submitted Oyetola and Alabi’s names to INEC violated the provisions of Section 183 of the Constitution and Section 82(3) of the Electoral Act 2022.
The presiding judge agreed with the submissions of the Peoples Democratic Party’s lawyer, Kehinde Ogunwumiju (SAN), and voided the nomination of Oyetola and Alabi by the APC.
Added to this, the judge ruled that Mala Buni violated the provision of Section 183 of the Constitution when he held dual executive positions as the governor of Yobe and the APC’s chairman of the national caretaker committee.