A lawyer, Festus Ogun, on Friday disclosed that the sacked governor of Osun State, Ademola Adeleke, would remain in office pending appeal of the Tribunal judgement that upturned his election as governor on Friday.
Ogun disclosed this in a tweet posted to his Twitter page Friday evening.
He wrote, “Notwithstanding the decision of the Tribunal, S. 138 of the Electoral Act, 2022 provides that Adeleke shall remain in office for the period of 21 days within which he’s entitled to file an appeal against the judgement of the Tribunal.”
He added, “If he chooses not to appeal, then he’s mandated to leave office after 21 days. However, where he files an appeal against the decision, he shall remain in office pending the determination of the appeal and shall enjoy all the benefits that accrue to the office.”
Recall that the Osun State Governorship Election Tribunal sacked Adeleke as Governor of the state.
In a majority judgment, the tribunal, chaired by Justice Tertse Kume, cancelled elections in 744 polling units citing over-voting.
Former Governor Adegboyega Oyetola challenged the July 16, 2022 governorship polls by joining the All Progressives Congress to file a petition against the victory of Adeleke.
He alleged over-voting in 749 polling units and certificate forgery by candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party.
Oyetola and the APC, who dragged the Independent National Electoral Commission as the first respondent, Adeleke, second respondent, and the PDP as the third, called two witnesses.
Reading the majority judgement by Rabi Bashir and Tertse Kume, Justice Kume said: “In other words, the defences of the respondents are taint with fundamental flaws, irreconcilable and unreliable, incapable of defeating the credible evidence tendered by the petitioners in respect of the 744 polling units where over-voting has been established.
“The inference we hereby drawn from the fact established by the evidence and record is that the election conducted on the 16th day of July, 2022 was done in substantial non-compliance with the provisions of the Electoral Act and extant regulations.
“Moreover, exhibit BVR has not been withdrawn by the first respondent who made and issued it. The petitioners relied on exhibit BVR in maintaining this petition.
“Similarly, the exhibit tendered by the respondents after exhibit BVR submitted by learned counsel to the petitioners, were thought of after the declaration of result on the 17th day of July, 2022.
“The said conduct of the respondents, especially, the first respondent amounts to tampering with official records. The conduct of the first respondent in the said election under consideration has produced multiple accusation report, contrary to votes declaration, to conduct of free, fair and credible elections on the basis of one man or woman with one vote.
“Consequently, to forestall a manipulation of BVAS machines in the conduct of elections in Nigeria by the first respondent, the presiding officers at the polling units and other key officers of the first respondent should act on the vest won by them.
“During the conduct of elections, an electronic device embedded in a safe vest which would have helped you to collect data and information transmitable to a server domiciled either to the headquarters of the Nigerian Police Force, NIGCOMSAT, the National Secretary Adviser, independent of the first respondent.
“The data store at the server in any of the said offices will be a resource material for investigation and possible prosecution of any infraction that may occur in the use of the BVAS in the polling units during the conduct of elections.
“We find as a fact that the voting occurred in the election conducted on the 16th day of July, 2022 in the manner stated in the table in paragraph 6.19 of the petitioner’s final written address already reproduced in this judgement, the duty of this tribunal is to deduct the said invalid votes from the lawful votes of the first petitioner and the first respondent to determine who have the majority of lawful votes at the said election.
“The table produced on page 30 paragraph 7.01 of the petitioner final written address in response to the first respondent final written address on page 17 paragraph 6.21 on the petitioner’s final address shows a graphic demonstration of the lawful votes after the deduction of the said invalid votes cast.
“For the sake of emphasis, the total lawful vote cast for each of the candidates after the said deduction of invalid votes is 314,931 for the first petitioner and 290,266 votes for the second respondent.
“The second respondent did not score a majority of lawful votes cast for the election. The declaration and return is hereby declared as null and void, the second respondent cannot ‘go low low and buga won’ as duly elected governor of Osun State in the election conducted on July 16th 2022, see Kiss Daniel song, Buga.
“Rather, we hereby hold that the first petitioner scored the majority of lawful votes in the said election and is hereby returned as such.
“The first respondent is hereby directed to withdraw the Certificate of Return issued to the second respondent and give the first petitioner Certificate of Return as the duly elected Governor.”