Chris Steven, Abuja
The Court of Appeal has nullified the victory of candidate of Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) Ademola Adeleke in the Osun State governorship election petition tribunal.

The Court which sat in Abuja gave the ruling on Thursday morning.

The ruling followed the appeal filed by the Governor of Osun State, Gboyega Oyetola, challenging the declaration of Ademola Adeleke as the duly elected governor by the state election petition tribunal.

Besides ruling against Adeleke’s victory at the election petition tribunal, court also set aside the judgement of the tribunal of March 22, which declared Adeleke winner of the election.

A five-member panel of the appeal court led by Jummai Sankey delivered the judgement with four members of the panel agreeing with the lead judgement.

The lead judgement was read by Justice Jummai Sankey.

A panel member, Justice Mbaba, is gave a dissenting judgement when he dismissed the appeal and awarded the sum of N200,000 against Governor Oyetola, the appellant.

Other members of the panel were Abubakar Yahaya, Isaiah Akeju and Bitrus Sanga.

Adeleke contested the governorship election on the platform of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP).

The Independent National Electoral Commission declared Oyetola winner after a supplementary poll but the tribunal said Mr Oyetola won the election at the first ballot.

Specifically, he faulted the judgment as unknown to the law because Justice Peter Obiorah who prepared and read the lead judgement did not participate fully during the hearing of the petition.

Oyetola whose appeal was first heard by the court of appeal drew the attention of the court to the February 6 proceedings in which Obiorah was absent at the tribunal and did not sign the proceeding of that day.

The appellant contended that what Obiorah did amounted to judicial hear-say because the proceedings of February 6 when he was not in court was copiously copied in his lead judgement.

Insisting that judicial hear-say has no place in law, Oyetola asked the appeal court to quash the judgement, allow the appeal and uphold the governorship election.

On his part, the counsel to APC, Akin Olujinmi, also faulted the judgment of the tribunal led by Ibrahim Sirajo, on the ground that the petition was based on the rerun election of September 27.

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