• Oyetola plans appeal, gov says triumph God’s will
Joyous members of the Peoples Democratic Party on Friday thronged the Ede residence of the Osun State Governor, Ademola Adeleke, to celebrate his victory at the Court of Appeal in Abuja, which affirmed his election in the July 16, 2022 governorship poll.
The party members, who could not hide their joy, danced round the compound of Adeleke’s residence as drummers sang praises of the state governor following the victory.
As the celebrations at Adeleke’s Ede residence was going on, many residents of the town also trooped to the streets to celebrate the victory.
Also, many ecstatic residents and members of the PDP took to the streets in other major towns across the state to celebrate Governor Adeleke’s victory at the appellate court.
The Court of Appeal sitting in Abuja, in a unanimous judgement, had declared Adeleke as the winner of the poll.
Immediately news filtered in that Adeleke had won his appeal against the judgement of the State Election Tribunal, which annulled his victory in its majority judgement and pronounced the candidate of the All Progressives Congress, Adegboyega Oyetola, as the winner of the July 16 governorship poll, many residents of Ede, Ilesa and Osogbo took to the streets to celebrate the judgement.
Also, residents of the town took to streets around Oja Timi, Total and Oke Gada to express their satisfaction over the Appeal Court verdict.
In Osogbo, the street celebration was led by Asimiyu Ajibola, the PDP Caretaker Chairman in the local government area, even as members of the party dressed in the PDP colours gathered at Olaiya Junction, singing and dancing.
Also in Ilesa, the celebration was led by a former Osun State PDP chairman, Sunday Bisi, as party members converged on Oke’sa to celebrate the victory.
PDP members in Ile-Ile celebrated Adeleke’s victory moving from Ilare to Oja tuntun while singing and dancing.
Reacting to the victory, Adeleke, who spoke with journalists at his Ede residence, expressed the need for the people to celebrate with caution.
He also commended the judiciary and asked the people of the state to continue to pray for his administration.
He said, “I will keep thanking God; I look at the people of Osun State and what they have been through in the past four years, but they should keep hope alive. The voice of the people is the voice of God. The people of Osun State have spoken, so also the judiciary.
“There is no victor, there is no vanquished. We should all come together to move Osun State forward. The people should go and celebrate and they should not break the law because we are in a fasting period.
“Osun people should continue to pray for us that we should deliver on our campaign promises. This case is water-tight and I must commend the judiciary for doing justice.”
Ex-Osun State governor, Oyetola, while reacting to the court decision, told APC members to remain calm and avoid being discouraged.
Oyetola while commenting further in a statement by his media aide, Ismail Omipidan, said his belief in the judiciary remained unshaken.
He further said, “We have heard the judgement of the Appeal Court, but we have yet to receive a copy of the judgement.
“However, from the snippets we are getting, we believe we have a potential ground to approach the Supreme Court. Our belief in the judiciary remains unshaken, just as my abiding faith in the God’s promise regarding the reclaim of my mandate remains undoubted.
“I, therefore, appeal to our supporters and party members to remain calm as we take the next step.”
Recall that the Appeal Court judgement was based on the appeal filed by Governor Adeleke, marked CA/AK/EPT/GOV/01/2023.
Resolving one of the issues which bordered on the merit of the case, the Appeal Court had in a unanimous decision by a three-member panel of Justices led by Justice Mohammed Shaibu held that the appeal by Adeleke challenging his sacking by the Osun State Governorship Election Petition Tribunal was meritorious.
The court also held that the sum of N500,000 be awarded as a cost against the All Progressive Congress and its candidate, Oyetola.
During the ruling, the court resolved that the preponderance of proof that there was over-voting in the elections rested on the petitioner.
The court also maintained that “the party alleging non-compliance with the Electoral Act must prove its case without merely relying on the weakness of the other party”.
Delivering judgement, Justice Mohammed Shaibu overruled the judgement of the governorship election tribunal that nullified the outcome of the July governorship polls.
The three-man panel revoked the tribunal’s order which directed that a Certificate of Return be withdrawn from Adeleke and issued to his predecessor and the APC candidate, (Oyetola).
The court also condemned the reference made to “lo lo lo buga won” which was one of the issues to be determined.
The applicant had questioned whether the reference to his eccentricity for dancing did not affect the judgement of the tribunal court on grounds of bias.
The judge, however, held that the comment although condemnable did not affect the tribunal judgement as it did not constitute “judicial bias”.