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Update: Adeleke challenges tribunal judgement

The  Governor of Osun State, Ademola Adeleke, says he would appeal the judgment removing him as Osun state governor.

Adeleke described the judgment of the governorship election petitions tribunal as “a miscarriage of justice” as he vowed to challenge the ruling at the Court of Appeal.

Reacting on Twitter, Adeleke wrote: “I want to use this opportunity to call on our people to remain calm. We will appeal the judgment and we are sure justice will be done. Let everyone be reassured that we will do everything possible to retain this widely acclaimed mandate. God bless Osun!”

The Osun State Election Petition Tribunal has nullified the election of the Senator Ademola Adeleke of the people’s Democratic Party as the Governor of Osun State in July 16 poll.

In a majority decision of two against one, the Tribunal founded that the case of over voting alleged by the APC and it’s candidate, Mr Adegboyega Oyetola was proved beyond reasonable doubt.

Reading the lead Judgement, the Chairman of the Tribunal,Justice Tetsea Kume, declared that INEC did not comply substantially with the Constitution and the provisions of the Electoral Act.

Justice Kume said after considering the evidences of the parties, the tribunal resolved the matter by reviewing the total score of the two parties.

Consequently, it declared Mr Adegboyega Oyetola of the APC as scoring a total of 314, 921, while Governor Ademola Adeleke’s score came down to 290, 266.

The tribunal in it’s majority decision held that the witnesses called by both the first respondent, INEC and the first petitioner, Mr Oyetola admitted that there was over voting and the court agreed with them based on materials tendered and admitted during trial.

Justice Kume stated that the certified true copy of BVR report issued to Mr Adegboyega Oyetola on the 27th July was made by the electoral umpire who also made another conflicting one issued to Governor Ademola Adeleke on August 22.

The tribunal said this inconsistency and unreliable conduct of INEC affected the outcome of the Osun State Governorship election.

He consequently directed INEC to withdraw Adeleke’s certificate of return and issued another one to Oyetola who won majority of the lawful votes.

In the minority decision by only one of the judges, Justice Benedict Ogbuli, he held that the petitioners only based their case of BVAs, which has been rendered contradictory while it abandoned important documents like the form EC8.

Justice Ogbuli upheld the election of Governor Ademola Adeleke on the ground that Mr Oyetola and the APC did not prove their cases beyond reasonable doubt.

Shortly after the sitting, one of the counsels to the petitioners, Mr Saka Layonu, SAN expressed satisfaction with the judgement

While Mr Nathaniel Oke, SAN for the PDP and Professor Paul Ananaba for INEC expressed their reservation with the decision.

Meanwhile, Governor Ademola Adeleke had reacted to Judgement, describing as a miscarriage of justice.

In a statement by the spokesperson to the governor, Mallam Olawale Rasheed, Senator Adeleke vowed to appeal the verdict

However, former Governor Adegboyega Oyetola through a statement by his Chief press Secretary, Mr Ismail Omipidan comended the judiciary.

Reporting by Adenitan Akinola; editing by Fany Olumoye; Julian Osamoto & Adeniyi Bakare