The Supreme Court of Nigeria has upheld the victory of Governor Ademola Adeleke in the 2022 Osun State governorship election.
The court, on Tuesday, dismissed the appeal filed by the All Progressives Congress (APC) and its candidate, Gboyega Oyetola, against the decision of the Court of Appeal which had earlier upheld Adeleke’s victory.
According to the ruling of the Supreme Court, “the appellants failed to prove that the respondent did not score the majority of lawful votes in the election. The evidence presented by the appellants was riddled with inconsistencies and contradictions.”
The decision of the Supreme Court brings an end to the legal battle that had been ongoing for several months. It affirms the verdict of the Court of Appeal, which had declared Adeleke as the valid winner of the Osun State gubernatorial election.
It will be recalled that the Osun State Governorship Election Petition Tribunal had, in a split decision, voided the declaration of Adeleke of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, as the winner of the gubernatorial election.
The tribunal had upheld a petition that was brought before it by the former governor of the state, Adegboyega Oyetola of the APC, who came second in the election.
However, the Court of Appeal had on March 24, reversed the judgement of the tribunal, setting aside the declaration of Oyetola as the winner of the election.
Following an appeal that was lodged by Adeleke and the PDP, the Court of Appeal, on March 24, reversed the judgement of the tribunal.
Reacting to the Supreme Court judgement, Adeleke expressed gratitude to God and the people of Osun State for standing by him throughout the legal tussle.
In a statement issued by his media aide, Niyi Owolade, Adeleke said, “I am overjoyed by the judgement of the Supreme Court which has finally put an end to the long-standing legal battle. This is a victory for democracy and the people of Osun State who trooped out in large numbers to vote for me in the election.”
He also called on his opponent, Oyetola, and the APC to join hands with him in moving the state forward, adding that he would be magnanimous in victory.
“I extend my hand of fellowship to my brother, Oyetola, and the APC to join me in moving Osun State forward. I am willing to put the past behind us and work together for the betterment of our people,” he said.
The Supreme Court judgement is a clear indication that the Nigerian judiciary is alive to its responsibilities and will not hesitate to uphold the rule of law and the tenets of democracy.
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