Osun guber: Adeleke, PDP react to Appeal Court judgement upholding election of Oyetola
Senator Ademola Adeleke, the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) governorship candidate for Osun 2018 Governorship Election said he had instructed his counsels to challenge the appeal court judgement which upheld Gov. Gboyega Oyetola’s election at the Supreme court.
Adeleke, in a statement made available to newsmen in Osogbo on Thursday said he received the appeal court judgement with dissatisfaction.
According to him, the judgment of the appeal court relied on weak technical foundation, while the substantive issue which formed the basis of the lower tribunal judgement was relegated to the background.
“I received with dissatisfaction the judgement of the Court of Appeal on the ruling of the election petition tribunal which had duly returned me as the validly elected governor of Osun state.
“I have subsequently instructed my counsel to prepare for an appeal against today’s judgement at the Supreme Court immediately.
“Today’s judgement relied on weak technical foundation.
“The substantive issue which formed the basis of the lower tribunal judgement was relegated to the background.
“We are reviewing the full ruling and action has already commenced to appeal the judgement and ensure the eventual retrieval of the stolen mandate,” Adeleke said.
He, however, urged the people of the state not to be downcast, saying that the struggle for good governance and retrieval of People’s mandate cannot be truncated by any flawed judgement.
“We are taking the legal battle further to the topmost court in the land. I am confident the apex court will upturn today’s unsustainable ruling.
“To all members of PDP in Osun State and my campaign organisation, the struggle is now at the most critical stage.
“We cannot waiver nor slow down. We must forge ahead in high spirit until final victory is attained.
“In this endeavour, I promise to provide the leadership as the genuine governorship mandate holder in Osun State” Adeleke said.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the Abuja Division of the Court of Appeal nullified the judgment of the Osun State Governorship Election Petition Tribunal.
The tribunal had in its verdict of Friday, March 22, 2019, declared the PDP and its candidate, Sen. Adeleke, the winner of the Sept. 22, 2018 polls.
However, Justice Jummai Sankey, read the lead judgment of the Court of Appeal on Thursday. Justices Abubakar Yahaya, Isaiah Akeju and Bitrus Sanga agreed with the lead verdict.
A fifth member of the appellate court, Justice Ita Mbaba, disagreed and upheld the election tribunal’s verdict that gave the victory to Adeleke.
Meanwhile, the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) has vowed to challenge the verdict of the Court of Appeal
In a reaction however, the PDP, in a statement by its spokesman, Kola Ologbondiyan, vowed that Adeleke and the PDP will challenge the judgement of the Appeal Court at the Supreme Court.
The party said it’s not in any way shaken by the judgment of the Court of Appeal, but rather stands with Nigerians in the confidence that justice and respect for the will of the people of Osun state will definitely prevail at the apex court
The main opposition party insisted that it will not allow the will of the people, which it claimed was given to Senator Adeleke by the people of Osun, to be lost.
The PDP noted that the fact the Court of Appeal had a split judgment indicated that justice was not fully served at the appellate court.
The statement continued, “It is instructive to state that the Court of Appeal did not contest or invalidate the fact that Senator Adeleke won the election but only cited technicalities and speculations to arrive at its decision.
“The PDP has also noted that the Court of Appeal failed to act on the full and substantial import of the failure of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to produce the ballot papers and record of accreditation to disprove our position that INEC altered results and subverted the will of the people of Osun State.
“Our party and candidate are therefore confident that the Supreme Court will look at the merit of the matter and ensure that justice is served by recognising Senator Ademola Adeleke as Osun State Governor”.