Godwin Tsa, Abuja
Osun State Governorship Election Petition Tribunal sitting in Abuja will, on Friday, deliver judgment on the petition seeking to nullify the election of Governor Adegboyega Oyetola of the All Progressives Congress (APC).
The date for the judgment was contained in the hearing notice sent to one of the parties by the tribunal, yesterday, a copy of which was cited by Daily Sun.
The Justice Ibrahim Sirajo-led three-man tribunal had, on March 7, reserved judgment on the petition, after all the parties in the matter adopted their final briefs of argument.
The election petition was lodged before the tribunal by the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) and its governorship candidate, Ademola Adeleke.
Justice Sirajo had informed all the parties that a date for the judgment would be communicated to them.
Adeleke and his political platform, the PDP, had, through their team of lawyers, led by Onyechi Ikpeazu (SAN), urged the tribunal to declare that Oyetola was not the winner of either the substantive election that was conducted on September 22, 2018, or the rerun election that took place on September 27, 2018.
The petitioners had alleged that the rerun poll was marred by manifest irregularities, even as they urged the court to nullify Oyetola’s election and declare Adeleke as the rightful winner of the governorship election.
They submitted before the tribunal that the election was characterised by massive rigging, vote-buying and other forms of malpractices, claiming that PDP scored majority of the lawful votes in the election. On his part, Adeleke claimed that the total votes he garnered on September 22 was 245,698, while the first respondent scored 245,345.
“That the first applicant was the winner of the election and ought to have been so declared by the third respondent, Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC).
“That the third respondent declared the election inconclusive, hence, a rerun was conducted on September 27, 2018.
“That the rerun election was marred by electoral violence, vote-buying, stuffing of ballot papers, multiple thumb-printing and voting and allocation of votes by the third respondent.”
He further told the tribunal that the third respondent wrongfully declared and returned the first respondent as being duly elected and winner of the governorship election, in Osun State, held on September 22, 2018, and the rerun election held on September 27, 2018, respectively.