Osun State Governor, Ademola Adeleke, has urged the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) not to issue a Certificate of Return to Mr Gboyega Oyetola following a judgement by the election tribunal.
The tribunal in its judgement on Friday held that the governorship election was characterized by over-voting, adding that after deducting the excessive votes, Gboyega Oyetola’s figures rose to 314, 921, while Adeleke’s came down to 290, 266.
Led by Justice Terste Kume, the tribunal instructed the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to withdraw the certificate of return issued to Adeleke and his deputy, Kola Adewusi. It directed that the certificate of return be issued to Oyetola instead.
But in a letter to the electoral umpire Chairman, Professor Mahmood Yakubu, shortly after the Osun State Governorship Election Petitions Tribunal nullified his election as governor, Adeleke urged INEC not to issue the certificate of return to Oyetola pending the outcome of his appeal.
“As Solicitors to the 2nd Respondent, Senator Ademola Jackson Nurudeen Adeleke, we humbly write to notify you that consequent upon the dissatisfaction of the 2nd Respondent by the najority decision of the Osun State Governorship Election Petition Tribunal delivered on January 27, 2023, the 2nd Respondent has applied for a certified true copy of the judgement to enable him pursue his appeal against the said judgement,” the letter partly signed by Hashim Abioye, lawyer to Adeleke, read.
“In the light of the foregoing, we humbly ask you to apply the relevant provisions of the Electoral Act, 2022, by not issuing any certificate (of) return to the 1st petitioner in the petition pending the outcome of the appeal which we are confident will be favourable to our client.”
Earlier Adeleke had faulted the judgement which sacked him as the legimately elected governor of Osun State.
The governor who reacted to the ruling in his Ede hometown, vowed to appeal the judgement, describing it as “a miscarriage of justice”.
A statement from his spokesman Olawale Rasheed quoted the governor as saying that it is “an unfair interpretation against the will of the majority of voters”.
“I call on our people to remain calm. We will appeal the judgement and we are sure justice will be done. Let our people be reassured that we will do everything possible to retain this widely acclaimed mandate,” the governor said.