The Supreme Court in a majority decision of five to two has affirmed the election of Governor Gboyega Isiaka Oyetola as Governor of Osun State.
The lead judgment delivered by Justice Bode Rhodes- Vivour dismissed the appeal filed by Senator Ademola Adeleke and the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP).
Adeleke and the PDP had filed an appeal at the Supreme Court challenging the lead judgment of the Court of Appeal read by Justice Jummai Sankey which upturned the judgment of the Osun Elections Petitions Tribunal which nullified the declaration of Oyetola as Governor of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) and declare Adeleke as winner.
The apex court ruled that the proceedings and the majority judgment of the Osun State Election Petition Tribunal which had declared the PDP as the winner of the poll were nullity.
According to Justice Rhodes- Vivour the reading of the lead judgment by Justice Peter Obiorah who was absent at the proceedings of the Tribunal had cast a doubt on the judgment and rendered it a nullity.
Other Justices that consented to the lead judgement are the Acting Chief Justice of Nigeria, Justice Tanko Moahammed, Justices Kudirat Kekere-Ekun, Amiru Sanusi, and Uwani Abba-Aji.
Justices Kumai Akaahs and Justice Paul Galinje however in minority judgment affirmed PDP as the winner of the poll.
Atiku, APC reacts
The Presidential candidate of the PDP and former Vice- President Atiku Abubakar said the Supreme judgment is not the end of the poltical career of Senator Adeleke.
Atiku via his verified Twitter handle said, “Those who think this is the end of the road for Senator Adeleke and the PDP in Osun, are greatly mistaken. This is not the end. Not even the beginning of the end. No. Today marks the continued ascendancy of Senator Adeleke and his party in the hearts and minds of his people.”
He continued “I join with people of goodwill all over Nigeria to say to Senator Ademola Adeleke, and the people of the great state of Osun, that we stand with them in good times and in difficult days. The Supreme Court has ruled and because of its judicial finality, the legal case is over.
“The great people of Osun had expected that the progress and development that the Adeleke family had consistently brought to Osun will be translated to their governance. That hope is not dead. Only delayed.
“I extend my right hand of brotherhood to Senator Adeleke in all his future endeavours and I assure the good people of the state of Osun that the Peoples Democratic Party remembers their love and acceptance and will never forget to stand by them no matter the situation.”
On the role of the judiciary and the expectation of the citizens, Atiku called on the Judiciary to reflect the feelings of the citizenry in their judgements.
He said, “Finally, I urge the nation’s judiciary to take a pulse of the nation and reflect it. In their hands, God has placed a great responsibility. The duty to ensure that justice is done, irrespective of the pressure to do otherwise, by the powers that be.”
Meanwhile the All Progressive Congress(APC) has said God the Supreme Court has averted disaster that would have been visited on the people if PDP had been declared winner.
A statement signed by its publicity secretary, Mr Kunle Oyatomi, the spokesperson for the party, said “God has used the highest legal authority of the land to proclaim the truth that Oyetola lawfully won. And that is historic.
“Our fears for the calamity that might have befallen the state of Osun, if the PDP had been declared winner, have now been assuaged.”