Breaking News: Supreme Court Upholds Adeleke's Election As Osun State Governor

Governor Ademola Adeleke of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) has been affirmed as the winner of the keenly contested 16 July 2022 governorship election in the state by the Supreme Court, thus sealing his victory over the then-incumbent governor, Adegboyega Oyetola.

This judgment, delivered by a five-member panel on Tuesday, upheld the decision of the Court of Appeal in Abuja, which had earlier affirmed Mr Adeleke’s victory on 24 March. The dispute over the outcome of the election has been laid to rest, and Mr Oyetola’s hopes of returning to office after his momentary victory at the Osun State Governorship Election Petition Tribunal in January have been extinguished.

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The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) had declared Mr Adeleke as the winner of the election, depriving Mr Oyetola of a second term in office. Mr Oyetola had challenged the outcome of the poll at the election petition tribunal in Osogbo, but his appeal was unsuccessful.

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The Court of Appeal held that the burden of proving allegations of over-voting lay with the respondents (Mr Oyetola and the All Progressives Congress (APC)), and that the respondents’ witnesses did not have any probative value. The court also noted that Mr Oyetola and the APC did not tender the voter registers and Bimodal Voters Accreditation System (BVAS) machines, which captured data of eligible voters at the Osun governorship election. The tribunal, in its judgment, had relied on the table set out in an address of counsel to hold that over-voting occurred in the election.

In conclusion: the Supreme Court’s affirmation of Governor Ademola Adeleke’s victory in the Osun State governorship election has put an end to a long-standing dispute over the outcome of the election. The Court of Appeal’s earlier decision had upheld Mr Adeleke’s victory, and the Supreme Court’s ruling has confirmed that decision, thus extinguishing Mr Oyetola’s hopes of returning to office. The Court of Appeal’s detailed analysis of the evidence presented by both parties provides insight into the legal issues surrounding the case and underscores the importance of having a thorough and transparent election process.


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