The Supreme Court has upheld the election of Gboyega Oyetola, candidate of the All Progressives Congress (APC) as the governor of Osun state, dismissing the appeal of Ademola Adeleke, of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP).
At the apex court on Friday, five of the seven judges on the panel ruled in favour of Oyetola, leaving Adeleke with two.
The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) had declared Oyetola winner of the Osun governorship election after a controversial rerun in September 2018.
PDP’s Adeleke filed a petition to challenge the election at the tribunal.
The tribunal declared Adeleke winner of the election on March 22.
Oyetola went on to appeal the verdict of the tribunal. In May, the Court of Appeal set aside the tribunal’s judgment, handing the APC candidate victory.
The Supreme Court on Friday ruled that the judge who had read the majority judgement at the tribunal, Peter Obiora, was evidently absent on February 6, following the documents before the court.
It said the failure of Obiora to be present on that day meant that the tribunal lacked the authority to have given any judgment on the matter.
The apex court ruling was read by Bode Rhodes-Vivour.
The Acting Chief Justice of Nigeria, Justice Tanko Mohammed, Justices Kudirat Kekere- Ekun, Amiru Sanusi, and Uwani Abba – Aji, consented to Justice Rhodes- Vivour’s majority judgment.
But Justices Kumai Akaahs and Paul Galinje affirmed PDP as the winner of the poll.
The two judges declared Adeleke as the true winner of the September 2018 poll.
They held that the conclusion that Justice Obiora did not participate in the February 6, 2019 proceedings of the tribunal “was based on conjecture” or at best “a well- articulated speculation”.