Who really won last year’s governorship election in Osun state: Governor Gboyega Oyetola of the All Progressives Congress or Senator Ademola Adeleke of the Peoples Democratic Party? Final verdict will be pronounced on 5 July by the Supreme Court.
So far, it has been a ding dong affair. Oyetola was pronounced the winner by the Independent National Electoral Commission. Months later the Election Petition Tribunal gave victory to Adeleke. Then in May, the Court of Appeal favoured Oyetola.
On Monday, the Supreme Court fixed 5 July for the final verdict on the electoral tangle, on the appeals filed by Adeleke.
A seven-man panel of the court, led by the Acting Chief Justice of Nigeria (CJN), Justice Ibrahim Muhammad chose the date after taking final arguments in respect of the main appeal, marked: SC/553/2019 filed by Adeleke.
Adeleke, who filed four appeals, is challenging the May 9, 2019 judgments of the Court of Appeal, Abuja which affirmed the election of Adegboyega Oyetola of the All Progressives Congress (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, by agreement of lawyers in the appeals, the court took submissions from Onyechi Ikpeazu (SAN) for the appellants 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 – will be applied to two other similar ones, 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.
The court, which stood down proceedings for a while, is expected to resume soon to take the last fourth appeal by Adeleke, marked: SC/556/2019.
Other members of the panel are: Justices Olabode Rhodes-Vivour, Kumai Aka’ahs, Kudirat Kekere-Ekun, Amiru Sanusi, Paul Galunmje and Uwani Abbah-Aji.