The Peoples Democratic Party’s Ademola Adeleke was recognized by the Supreme Court on Tuesday as having been duly elected as the governor of Osun State.
The All Progressives Congress, APC’s nominee for governor and former governor of the state, Adegboyega Oyetola, appealed Adeleke’s election victory, but the case was rejected by the supreme court, which was represented by Justice Emmanuel Agim in the lead judgment.
The court ruled that although Oyetola claimed that Adeleke won the election as a result of excessive voting that took place at 774 polling places around the state, he was unable to show any evidence supporting his claim using the Bimodal Voters Accreditation System, or BVAS, a device that was used in each of the polling places.
It is obvious that the appellant did not present any BVAS as proof, but instead attempted to demonstrate over-voting by submitting a report on the analysis of INEC’s database or backend server.
According to the supreme court, the BVAS is the only direct and primary record of voters accredited at polling places on election day because it is undeniable that it contains a record of accredited voters.
The court ruled that neither Section 47 of the Electoral Act of 2022 nor Rules 18 through 23 of the INEC’s Regulations required presiding officers in an election to send the number of accredited voters in each polling location to the backend server via BVAS.
It disregarded the testimony of supposed experts who testified in Oyeyola’s favor.
The Supreme Court declared there was no justification for overturning the Court of Appeal’s decision upholding Adeleke’s election victory.
Remember that on January 27, the Osun State Governorship Election Petition Tribunal, in a split judgment, nullified the Peoples Democratic Party’s (PDP) designation of Adeleke as the election’s victor.
The petition was presented to the tribunal by the former governor of the state, Adegboyega Oyetola of the All Progressives Congress, APC, who finished second in the election. The plea was upheld by the three-member panel tribunal under the leadership of Justice Tertsea Kume.
It was determined that Adeleke did not receive the majority of valid votes, and it was further determined that the election’s administration did not substantially comply with the requirements of the Electoral Act of 2022.
The petitioners, Oyetola and APC, effectively demonstrated that there was overvoting at 744 polling places in the state, according to the tribunal.
The tribunal certified Oyetola the victor of the governorship election after subtracting the aforementioned illegitimate votes, but it also ordered the INEC to revoke Adeleke’s previous Certificate of Return.
Although he dismissed the suit filed by Oyetola and the APC, Justice P. Ogbuli, the third member of the panel, declared Adeleke to be the legitimate victor of the election in his dissenting opinion.
On March 24, the Court of Appeal overturned the tribunal’s decision in response to an appeal that was filed by Adeleke and the PDP.
The appellate court determined that Adeleke’s appeal had merit in a unanimous ruling by a three-member panel of Justices.
In addition to overturning the tribunal’s decision, the court awarded the APC and its candidate Gboyega Oyetola costs in its lead judgment, which was delivered by Justice Mohammed Shuaibu.
Oyetola and the APC appealed the ruling to the Supreme Court, where they also lost on Tuesday, since they were both unhappy with the decision.