Governor Ademola Adeleke-led administration in Osun State came to a hurting halt on Friday as the Osun Election Petitions Tribunal sacked him from office. His stay in office lasted a mere 62 days!
While annulling the July 16 Osun governorship poll results, the tribunal held that the Independent National Electoral Commission did not comply with the provisions of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria as well as the Electoral Act as amended.
The Independent National Electoral Commission had declared Adeleke, the Peoples Democratic Party governorship candidate, the winner of the July 16 election.
The Returning Officer for the election and Vice-Chancellor of the University of Lagos, Prof Oluwatoyin Ogundipe, announced that Adeleke got a total of 403,371 votes, beating the incumbent Governor Adegboyega Oyetola of the APC, who garnered 375,027 votes in the keenly contested race.
In the election held across 3,763 polling units in the 30 local government areas in Osun, the PDP won 17 of the LGAs, while the APC recorded more votes in the remaining 13. The PDP won in Ede North, Ede South, Ifelodun, Boluwaduro, Egbedore, Odo Otin, Osogbo, Ila, Atakumosa West, Olorunda, Ilesa West, Obokun, Oriade, Orolu, Ife North, Irepodun, and Ejigbo LGAs.
The APC, on the other hand, won in Boripe, Ilesa East, Ayedire, Ifedayo, Ife Central, Ayedaade, Iwo, Olaoluwa, Isokan, Atakumosa East, Irewole, Ife South, and Ife East LGAs. Out of the 1,955,657 registered voters in the state, 1,479,595 Permanent Voter Cards were collected before the election.
Adeleke’s victory raised the PDP-governed states’ tally to 14, with the ruling APC states dropping to 21.
But the hope of Adeleke, known for his dancing skills and fondly referred to as the ‘Dancing Senator’, was dashed on Friday after the tribunal annulled the result of the July 16 governorship poll.
While delivering a majority decision vote, Justice Tetsea Kume ruled that INEC did not comply substantially with the constitution and the provisions of the Electoral Act.
He subsequently 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 a majority of the lawful votes.
Meanwhile, Governor Ademola Adeleke has reacted to his sacking by the Osun State Governorship Election Petition Tribunal sitting in Osogbo.
In a statement signed by his spokesman, Mallam Olawale Rasheed, the governor described it as a miscarriage of justice.
The statement read: “The Executive Governor of Osun State, Senator Ademola Adeleke has described the judgement of the governorship tribunal as ” a miscarriage of justice”, vowing to challenge the ruling at the Court of Appeal.
“Reacting to the verdict of the Tribunal from his country home, Ede, Governor Adeleke faulted the resolution of the over-voting question in favour of Mr Oyetola, calling it “an unfair interpretation against the will of majority of voters”
“While urging his supporters to remain calm, Governor Adeleke vowed to appeal the judgement at the Court of Appeal, insisting he remains the rightful winner of the July 16 election.
“I call on our people to remain calm. We will appeal the judgement and we are sure justice will be done. Let our people be reassured that we will do everything possible to retain this widely acclaimed mandate”, Governor Adeleke declared.”