The Supreme Court will tomorrow commence hearing in the appeal filed by Senator Ademola Adeleke of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) challenging the declaration of Gboyega Oyetola of the All Progressives Congress (APC) as governor of Osun State.
The matter went to the Supreme Court after the Court of Appeal on May 9 upturned the verdict of the Osun State Election Petitions Tribunal which declared Senator Adeleke winner of the governorship election.
The appellate court held that the irregular composition of the lower tribunal, where the judge who delivered the majority judgment, Justice Peter Obiorah, was absent in the proceedings of the lower court, affected the right of the appellant to fair hearing.
The five member panel of justices, which was presided by Justice Jummai Sankey, also upheld 10 out of the 12 issues raised by Governor Adegboyega Oyetola of the APC that the lower tribunal lacked the jurisdiction to entertain some of the grounds of the petition brought by Adeleke over the September 22, 2018 governorship election.
It held that having ruled that the claims of over-voting and voiding of valid votes were unproven by the tribunal in the 17 polling units out 3,010 polling units in the state, the non-compliance was not substantial to proceed to compute and deduct votes.
Both Adeleke and the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) are asking the apex court to set aside the decision of the Court of Appeal in favour of Oyetola of the APC. Adeleke also contended that the Court of Appeal erred in law when it upheld the appeals by APC and INEC, challenging the decision of the tribunal.
The PDP also contended that the appellate court erred when it dismissed its cross appeal, where it challenged the improper ballot counting which cost it 3, 402 and 379 votes in 23 polling units.
Adeleke and the PDP are therefore seeking a declaration that they won the election by a wider margin than what was found by the lower tribunal in view of what they called the substantial non compliance with the Electoral Act 2010 as amended.
Source: Daily Trust