BY TIMOTHY AGBOR, OSOGBO
Governor Ademola Adeleke of Osun State has extended hands of fellowship to his predecessor, Gboyega Oyetola and the major opposition party in the state, All Progressives Congress after his victory at the Court of Appeal sitting in Abuja.
The Point has reported that the three-man Appeal panel led by Justice Muhammed Shuaibu on Friday, unanimously set aside the majority judgment of the Osun State Governorship Election Petition Tribunal that declared Oyetola winner of the July 16, 2022 poll.
The Appeal Court panel had said the 2022 election petition tribunal erred in law by basing its verdict on over-voting on the table solely presented by the petitioners, stating that the petitioners did not prove their cases on over-voting.
“The tribunal was wrong to have admitted and relied on the table presented by the petitioner. The tribunal was wrong to have annulled the election,” the panel unanimously held.
On the issue of bias against Justice Tertsea Kume led Tribunal panel, the appellate court said Adeleke was unable to prove his case against the judge, adding that the “buga and lo lo lo” reference in the judgement has no relevance with its interpretation.
On the issue of forgery of certificate which was cross appealed by Oyetola and APC, the Court held that the appellants failed to prove forgery against Adeleke, stating that the existing judgement of the Appeal Court on the matter is still valid.
“The contrary findings of the tribunal is baseless and invalid. The cross appeal is hereby found meritless,” the appellate court declared.
Justice Shuaibu awarded the sum of N500,000 against Oyetola for coming up with “meritless” case and asked the former governor to pay Adeleke the cost.
Reacting to his victory at the court in his Ede country home on Friday, Governor Adeleke while addressing journalists, said the appellate judgment was a confirmation that the voice of the people is the voice of God because the people of Osun massively voted for him in 2018 and 2022.
The governor expressed happiness that the Court of Appeal nullified what he described as “miscarriage of justice” by the election tribunal.
He asked Oyetola and his party to join hands with his administration to “make Osun great again.”
According to Adeleke who just finished marking his 100 days in office as governor, “I am still thanking God. The people of Osun kept hope alive and they stood by me. The voice of the people is the voice of God. If the people of Osun are behind me, the judiciary cannot be against me. I want to tell them (Oyetola and APC) that we are all Osun and there is no victor, no vanquished. We should all come together and make Osun great again.”
While urging Osun residents to jubilate moderately and should not be weird, Governor Adeleke said, “I want my people to celebrate but they should not break the law. Remember we are in the fasting period.
“God should grant us the grace to carryout our campaign promises. I want to tell Osun people that more goodies are on the way. There are still good people in the judiciary. They should not be tired, they should look at the law because the judiciary is the last hope of the common man. We must have conscience. I have told the lower court that it was a miscarriage of justice and thank God the Appeal Court has corrected it.
“The people of Osun have not seen anything yet in terms of dividends of democracy. Everybody will be happy in Osun. I love Osun so much and the people of Osun stand by me since 2017 till we were elected in 2018 but we were cheated. We took solace in God and we returned in 2022, God assisted us and the people of Osun again voted for us. We thank God that the Appeal Court has corrected what Tribunal did wrongly,” Adeleke said.