Osogbo—The Osun State Governorship Election Petition Tribunal has voided the election of Governor Ademola Adeleke and declared Gboyega Oyetola as the winner of the election.
According to Premium Times, the tribunal, on Friday in Osogbo, annulled the result declared by the electoral commission (INEC), which gave victory in the 16 June 2022 election to Mr Adeleke of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP).
The tribunal directed INEC to withdraw the certificate of return issued to Mr Adeleke and his deputy, Kola Adewusi, both of whom had been sworn in.
The panel led by Justice Terste Kume directed that the certificate of return should instead be issued to Mr Oyetola of the All Progressives Congress (APC).
Justice Kume held that the governorship election was not held in compliance with Nigeria’s Electoral Act.
The tribunal held that the governorship election was characterized by over-voting. It said after deducting the excessive votes, the figure Mr Oyetola polled at the election was 314, 921.
The tribunal, thus, ordered that Mr Oyetola should be returned as governor of Osun State.
Mr Adeleke had been declared the winner with a total of 403,371 votes. He won in 17 of the 30 Local Government Areas (LGAs) in the state.
Mr Oyetola of the APC won in the remaining 13 LGAs with 375,027 votes
Fifteen candidates contested for the governorship election but it was keenly contested between Mr Adeleke and Mr Oyetola.
In his petition, Mr Oyetola, the immediate past governor of the state, claimed that the election was characterized by over-voting in 749 polling units.
He also argued that Mr Adeleke forged the academic credentials he submitted to the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to contest for the election.
Mr Adeleke is expected to appeal the ruling of the tribunal and will remain in office pending the final determination of the matter by superior courts.
The tribunal commenced sitting in August 2022, a few weeks after the governorship election.
Mr Oyetola and the APC are petitioners in the case with Lateef Fagbemi and Akin Olujimi as their lead counsel.
INEC is the first defendant, Mr Adeleke the second defendant and PDP the third defendant.
Paul Ananaba is the counsel to INEC, Alex Iziyon is the counsel to PDP and Onyechi Ikpeazu is the counsel to Mr Adeleke. All the counsel are senior advocates.