By Vivian Okejeme Abuja
The Supreme Court, will July 5th, deliver judgment on the appeal filed by Senator Ademola Adeleke, challenging the Appeal court ruling on the September 2018 governorship election in Osun State.
Adeleke, and his party, Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) had filed four separate appeals before the apex court to challenge the Appeal’s decision against him.
The Appellate court, had in its decision affirmed Governor Adegboyega Oyetola of the All Progressives Congress(APC) as the winner of the poll.
At the proceedings yesterday, counsel to Adeleke, Dr. Onyechi Ikpeazu (SAN), prayed the Supreme court to set aside the decision of the Court of appeal.
He maintained that the appellant satisfied the provision of Section 179(2) having sat for the said examination.
He also urged the apex court to affirm the ruling of the Osun State Governorship Election Petition Tribunal which had upturned Oyetola’s election and declared Adeleke as the true winner of the poll.
In his argument, counsel to Oyetola, Chief Wole Olanipekun (SAN), urged the court to dismiss the appeal and affirm the judgment of the Court of Appeal.
Adopting their brief of argument, Olanikpekun drew the attention of the court to the conflict between paragraph 44 of the first respondent.
He submitted that Section 178(4) of the 1999 Constitution as amended, says that the whole state is the constituency for a governorship election.
He maintained that when elections are not held in the entire state, they can not content that they have won election as against the second respondent (Oyetola) who won the election as conducted across the whole state.
He therefore, urged the apex court to dismiss the appeal for lacking in merit.
Counsel for the Independent National Electoral Commission, Mr. Yusuf Ali (SAN), and that for the APC, Olumide Olujinmi, also urged the apex court to dismiss the appeal.
Recall that on March 22, 2019, by a split decision of two-to-one, the tribunal nullified the election of Oyetola and his party and declared Adeleke and his PDP as the duly elected.
However, on May 9, 2019, by the majority judgment of the Court of Appeal, sitting in Abuja, Oyetola was declared winner of the September 2018 poll in the state.
The five-man panel led by Justice Jummai Sankey, nullified the majority verdict of the tribunal, in a four-to-one split decision.
Justice Sankey along with three other members of the panel, Justices Abubakar Yahaya, Isaiah Akeju, and Bitrus Sanga, adopted the majority judgments on the three appeals which went in favour of the APC and its candidate.
But another member of the panel, Justice George Mbaba, dissented from the majority judgments in the three appeals.
Irked by the decision of the Appeal court, Adeleke and the PDP had filed a petition at the Supreme Court, praying for an order nullifying the election and declaring them as the winner.
The apex court panel led by the acting Chief Justice of Nigeria, Justice Tanko Muhammad, after listening to their arguments, yesterday, adjourned to July 5th, for judgement.