Gov. Ademola Adeleke

The election of Senator Ademola Adeleke as governor of Osun State on July 16 was declared unlawful by the Election Petition Tribunal, but the Independent National Electoral Commission has appealed that ruling.

In the Notice of Appeal dated January 30, 2023, presented to the Court of Appeal, Akure Division, and acquired in Osogbo on Wednesday, the commission listed 44 reasons for appeal. The commission also asked the court to set aside the tribunal’s judgment.

Additionally, INEC asked the appellate court to determine that the petition filed by the All Progressives Congress and Adegboyega Oyetola, the party’s candidate in the election, is devoid of merit.

On January 27, 2023, a panel chaired by Justice Tertsea Kume ruled that Oyetola had been rightfully elected governor and declared Adeleke’s victory void.

Due to overvoting, which the panel claimed had been proven in 744 polling sites, the extra votes for Adeleke and Oyetola were taken away.But in a split ruling, Justice A. Ogbuli, a panelist, rejected the APC’s plea and affirmed Adeleke’s election victory.

The petitioners only brought two witnesses who did not establish that the PDP candidate lost the election, according to the commission, who argued that the tribunal erred in law when it said Adeleke did not acquire the majority of the valid votes. This was claimed in its Notice of Appeal, which was signed by 17 other attorneys in addition to its counsel, Prof. Paul Ananaba (SAN).

According to the INEC, this was unlawful since the tribunal used a table from the petitioners’ final written response to determine over-voting and subtracted votes earned by the respondent.

The tribunal claimed that the tribunal’s activities amounted to document manipulation because it generated numerous accreditation reports, but the electoral authority rejected this claim as well.