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Tribunal Declares Senator Adeleke of PDP Winner of 2018 Osun State Governorship Election
Senator Adeleke
The Osun State Governorship Election Petitions Tribunal sitting in Abuja, The Federal Capital Territory has on Friday 22nd of March, 2019 declared Senator Ademola Adeleke of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) as the Winner of  the 2018 governorship election in Osun state.

The tribunal held that the candidate of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Mr Gboyega Oyetola, was not validly returned thereby nullify his election and ordered the Independent National Electoral Commission to immediately withdraw the Certificate of Return issued to him as winner of the September 2018 election.

In a split judgement of 2:1, the majority judgment delivered by Justice Peter Obiara, the tribunal set aside the rerun election conducted on September 27th, 2018 for been unlawful. The tribunal therefore declared the candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Senator Ademola Adeleke, in the governorship election as the duly elected governor and ordered INEC to immediately issue him the Certificate of Return.

The decision of the tribunal followed an application filed by the candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Senator Adeleke, who had accused the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) of colluding with the All Progressives Congress (APC) to subvert his victory at the elections.

At the end of the collation of results in that first election, Senator Adeleke of the PDP had won majority votes of 254,698, while Mr Oyetola of the APC came second with 254,345 votes. Both leading candidates had a difference of about 354 votes.

Declaring the election inconclusive, INEC’s presiding officer for Osun 2018 Governorship Election, Prof. Joseph Fuwape, said it was impossible to name an outright winner without organising a rerun.

In his words, “Unfortunately as the returning officer, it’s not possible to declare anybody as the clear winner of the election on the first ballot,” Prof. Fuwape, Vice Chancellor of the Federal University of Technology, Akure said. He went further to explained that the total registered voters in the polling units where elections were cancelled is 3,498 votes, which is more than the difference between the major contenders thus called for return.

However, the PDP state chairman Mr Soji Adagunodo at Osogbo, the state capital said, "he knew from the onset that the party’s struggle for the mandate would not be in vain," adding that they have gotten justice. Adagunodo said, “I thank God Almighty for the victory and we dedicate it to him. It is a victory for the people of the state. It is a victory for all,"

He said, “I commend the good people of Osun for their faith in the PDP and Senator Adeleke.”

The party chairman also commended the judiciary, saying they did a good job by standing on the side of the truth. He said, “The judgement shows that the people in the judiciary are calibres of people of impeccable character. They are the last hope of the common man and have proved themselves as such. I give kudos to the judiciary.”

Meanwhile, the sitting Governor and the APC in the state has rejected the judgement and vowed to challenge it at the Court of Appeal. According to a statement by the party’s Director of Publicity, Research and Strategy, Mr Kunle Oyatomi, the verdict cannot stand superior legal scrutiny.

Adagunodo further said the PDP was ready to defend its victory at the Tribunal should the All Progressives Congress (APC) decide to appeal the Tribunal’s judgement. In the interim, Atiku Abubakar and Peter Obi, The PDP presidential and vice presidential candidates of the just concluded 2019 presidential race have congratulated Senator Adeleke and the people of Osun for the victory at the tribunal.

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