In its ruling on Tuesday, the Supreme Court of Nigeria upheld the election of Governor Ademola Adeleke of Osun State, sealing the governor’s victory over his most formidable rival, Adegboyega Oyetola.
The decision of the Court of Appeal in Abuja, which had earlier on March 24 affirmed Mr. Adeleke’s triumph, was unanimously upheld by a five-member panel of the court chaired by John Okoro.
Following Mr. Oyetola’s brief success in the Osun State Governorship race Petition Tribunal in January, the Supreme Court’s ruling puts an end to the controversy surrounding the results of the governorship race and dashes his chances of winning reelection.
The All Progressives Congress (APC) and Mr. Oyetola, according to the court, failed “to adduce relevant evidence to prove their case.”
The Supreme Court upheld the lower court’s ruling, concluding that the Court of Appeal “correctly found that the appellants failed to prove their case” against Mr. Adeleke and his party, the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), by concluding that the appellants “failed to prove their case.”
In order to demonstrate non-accreditation and over-voting, the Supreme Court ruled that “it was essential that the appellants (Oyetola and APC) produced the BIVAS machines or certified true copies of the BIVAS in evidence.”
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The ruling is expected to put an end to the protracted legal battle over the Osun State gubernatorial election and pave the way for Governor Adeleke to focus on governing the state and implementing his development agenda.