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Why Adeleke Will Remain As Osun Gov Despite Tribunal Sacking Him


Osun Tribunal: Your Love For Me Is Appreciated - Adeleke Tells Protesters

The Osun governorship election petition tribunal on Friday sacked Ademola Adeleke as the state governor.

The governorship candidate of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Gboyega Oyetola had petitioned the tribunal to challenge the victory of Adeleke in the July 16 2022 election.

Oyetola had asked to be declared as the winner of the governorship election, claiming that there was overvoting in 749 polling units across 10 LGAs of the state.

Delivering the judgment on Friday, two out of a three-member panel of the tribunal held that the petitioner was able to prove that there was over-voting in some of the polling units.

The tribunal, thereafter, ordered the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to withdraw the certificate of return issued to Adeleke and issue a fresh one to Oyetola as the elected governor of Osun.

However, Adeleke has twenty-one days to file an appeal following the judgment of the tribunal.

If Adeleke and PDP file an appeal within the stipulated period, he will remain in office and continue to enjoy the benefits of the position, pending the judgement of the appeal court.

Section 138(1) of the act reads: “Where the election is nullified by the Court and notice of appeal against the decision is given within the stipulated period for appeal, the elected candidate shall, notwithstanding the contrary decision of the Court, remain in office and enjoy all the benefits that accrued to the office pending the determination of the appeal and shall not be sanctioned for the benefits derived while in office.

“(2)If the Election Tribunal or the Court, as the case may be, determines that a candidate returned as elected was not validly elected, the candidate returned as elected shall, notwithstanding the contrary decision of the Election Tribunal or the Court, remain in office pending the expiration of the period of 21 days within which an appeal may be brought.”

INEC, therefore, cannot immediately issue a certificate of return to Oyetola except if Adeleke fails to file an appeal before 21 days.

Going by Section 285(7) of the constitution, the appeal by Adeleke must be heard and disposed of within 60 days from the tribunal’s judgement.

The constitution reads, “An appeal from a decision of an election tribunal or Court of Appeal in an election matter shall be heard and disposed of within 60 days from the date of the delivery of the judgment of the tribunal or Court of Appeal.”

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Since the electoral act says Adeleke remains in office till the judgment of the court of appeal, it means the governor can remain in office for a maximum of 60 days from January 27, pending the determination of his appeal.

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