Godwin Tsa, Abuja
Governor Adegboyega Oyetola, his political platform, the All Progressives Congress (APC) and the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) have urged the Supreme Court to dismiss the four appeals filed the candidate of the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) in the last governorship election in Osun State, Senator Ademola Adeleke.
Meanwhile, the apex court has fixed July 5, 2019, to deliver judgment in the multiple appeals which were consolidated at Monday’s hearing session.
Senator Adeleke in his four appeals, marked: SC/553/2019; SC/554/2019; SC/555/2019 and SC/556/2019, is challenging the May 9, 2019 judgments of the Court of Appeal, Abuja which affirmed the election of Adegboyega Oyetola of the APC as the governor of Osun State.
The Court of Appeal also set aside the majority judgment of the election tribunal which had allowed Adeleke’s petition and declared him winner of the election.
On Monday, a seven-man panel of the court led by the acting Chief Justice of Nigeria (CJN), Justice Ibrahim Muhammad, heard the appeals and chose July 5, 2015 for judgment.
On Monday, by agreement of lawyers in the appeals, the court took submissions from Onyechi Ikpeazu (SAN) for the appellant and Wole Olanipekun (SAN) for the 1st respondent (Oyetola) in respect of appeal marked: SC/553/2019.
The court said its judgment in the main appeal – SC/553/2019 – would be applied to two other similar one, filed by Adeleke against the Court of Appeal’s decision in relation to the appeals filed by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) and the APC, marked: SC/554/2019 and SC/555/2019.
The court also took arguments from Ikpeazu (for the appellant), Yusuf Ali (SAN) for INEC; Bode Olanipekun (SAN) for Oyetola and Olumide Olujinmi, for APC in relation to the fourth appeal, marked: SC/556/2019.
In their arguments, lawyers to the respondents – INEC, Oyetola and the APC, faulted the appeals and prayed the court to dismiss them for lacking in merit.
The respondents prayed the court to uphold the judgments as given on May 9, 2019 by the Court of Appeal in Abuja, which affirmed Oyetola of the APC as the winner of the governorship election held in September 2018.