Osun Guber: Adeleke loses at Supreme Court as Oyetola wins – The Supreme Court has dismissed the two appeals by candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in the last governorship election in Osun State, Senator Ademola Adeleke.
The Supreme Court, in a majority decision of five-to-two, read by Justice Olabode Rodes-Vivour, held that the failure of a member of the election tribunal, Justice Peter Obiora to sit on February 6, 2019 rendered the entire proceedings and the judgment given by the tribunal a nullity.
The court upheld the majority judgment of the Court of Appeal, which affirmed the victory Adegboyega Oyetola of the All Progressives Congress (APC) as the Governor of Osun State.
In the majority judgment, the Supreme Court agreed with the argument by Oyetola’s lawyer, Wole Olanipekun (SAN)that the entire of the majority judgment is a nullity, because it was written and delivered by Justice Obiorah “who did not participate in all the proceedings of the tribunal and who was not present when all the witnesses gave evidence.”
It noted that by the record of appeal, it was obvious that Justice Obiora was absent on February 6, 2019 when the respondents witnesses (RWs) 12 and 13 – Ayoola Soji and Oladejo Kazeem – testified and tendered exhibits, which the tribunal admitted in evidence.
The apex said Justice Obiora’s absence on February 6, 2019 meant that the tribunal was not properly constituted that day, and thereby rendered the entire proceedings of the tribunal a nullity and the judgement worthless.
The Supreme Court proceeded to set aside the entire proceedings of the tribunal and it’s judgement delivered in favour of Adeleke and the PDP.
The Supreme Court upheld the majority judgement of the Court of Appeal, which earlier voided the tribunal’s judgement and affirmed the victory of Gov. Oyetola of the APC
Justices Ibrahim Muhammad (Acting Chief Justice of Nigeria), Justices Kudirat Kekerere-Ekun, Amiru Sanusi and Uwani Abba-Aji agreed with the majority judgments in both appeals marked: SC/553/2019 and SC/556/209.
Justices Kumai Akaahs and Paul Galumje gave the dissenting judgments in both cases in which they allowed the two appeals.