Oloruntomiloba Olagunju, a lawyer to former Osun State Governor, Gboyega Oyetola, on Tuesday said the ‘Buga Won’ comment made by the Election Petitions Tribunal was done in passing.
Last Friday, two out of the three-member panel of the tribunal held that the petitioner was able to prove that there was indeed over-voting in some of the polling units.
“The second respondent cannot ‘go lo lo lo lo’ and ‘buga won’ as the duly elected governor of Osun state in the election conducted on the 16th day of July, 2022,” Tetsea Kume, who read the majority decision, said.
Criticisms have since trailed the comments with some thinking that the judgement by the Tribunal is biased. But reacting to the statement during an interview on Channels Television’s Politics Today, Olagunju said the phrase was not part of the judgement.
“The statement credited to the judge regarding the buga phrase is what in law we call the obiter dictum. It means statements that are just made in passing,” he said.
“They are not part of the judgement. Without holding forth for the judge, if you look through the entire judgement, you will place where the judge cited Shakespeare. In driving home their point, judges sometimes make statements in passing.
“They are not part of the judgement, they are not appealable. You cannot for example appeal the fact that the judge said buga.”
In its ruling on January 27, the Tribunal annulled the result declared by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), which gave victory in the election to Governor Ademola Adeleke of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP).
The tribunal directed INEC to withdraw the certificate of return issued to Adeleke and his deputy, Kola Adewusi, both of whom had been sworn in.
But Adeleke has vowed to appeal the judgment sacking him as governor of Osun State.
The governor described the judgement as “a miscarriage of justice” adding that it is “an unfair interpretation against the will of majority of voters”.
He said, “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.”