Tribunal Sacks Adeleke 61 Days After He Became Osun Governor
By Abdulkareem Haruna
An election petition tribunal sitting in Osogbo, Osun state, has nullified the election of Ademola Adeleke, as the governor of the state.
Should he fail to overturn the tribunal’s verdict at the superior courts, Mr Adeleke might go down in history as the governor with the shortest tenure to have ruled the state.
His sack came exactly two months after he was sworn in as Governor of Osun state.
Mr Adeleke was sworn in on Sunday November, 27, 2022 after he was declared as winner of the July 2022 gubernatorial election.
He took over from former governor Adegboyega Oyetola who was declared to have lost his bid to return for a second term.
The Independent Electoral Commission (INEC) declared Adeleke, a candidate of the People Democratic Party (PDP) claimed 403,371 votes, while the incumbent Oyetola of the/All Progressives Congress (APC), polled 375,027 votes.
Mr. Adeleke, according to the faulted result of the INEC, defeated Mr Oyetola, by a margin of about 44,426 votes.
Mr. Oyetola disagreed with the decision of INEC on that election; hence he approached the Tribunal with evidence of malpractice and alleged disobedience to the Electoral Act; his most prominent challenger was the overvoting at the locations where Governor Adeleke was said to have a landslide. But the courts later observed that the error of overvoting was shared between the parties in court.
Justice Tetsea Kume of the Osun Election Petition Tribunal, while delivering a majority decision on Friday, Jan. 27, 2023, declared that the INEC did not comply substantially with the constitution and the provisions of the Electoral Act.
The Judge, therefore, deducted the over-voting observed from the votes scored by the candidates and declared that Oyetola won the election, having polled 314, 921, while Adeleke’s score came down to 290, 266.
He directed INEC to withdraw Adeleke’s certificate of return and issue another one to Oyetola who won most of the lawful votes.
But this reverberating ruling by the Judges was not shared. One of the three judges had a dissenting voice; as such, he delivered a minority ruling in favor of Mr. Adeleke.