OSUN: Why Supreme Court Upheld Adeleke’s Election

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Over-voting in some polling units in the July 16, 2022 Osun governorship election, alleged by former Governor Adegboyega Adetola, earlier upheld by the Election Petitions Tribunal which sacked Senator Ademola Adeleke of the Peoples Democratic Party, was on Tuesday dismissed by the Supreme Court, thereby bringing an end to all litigations against him by Oyetola of the All Progressives Congress, APC.

The Appeal Court had, in March 2023, ruled in favour of Ademola Adeleke, citing evidence from the Bimodal Voter Accreditation System (BVAS) machine and the voter register.

In his submission, Adeleke’s Counsel, Onyechi Ikpeazu (SAN), argued that Oyetola relied on incorrect polling unit results uploaded on INEC’s back-end server at the Tribunal, while Oyetola’s Counsel, Lateef Fagbemi (SAN) countered the argument, insisting that the Tribunal’s judgement followed scrutiny of the evidence made available by INEC.

But the Appeal Court held that the Tribunal erred by drawing conclusion of over-voting using oral witnesses without considering information on the BVAS machine and voter register.

Laying the case to rest, a five-man panel of the Supreme Court, led by Justice John Okoro, held that the BVAS was the sole foundation and focal point of Adeleke’s case.

The apex court maintained that Oyetola’s argument that the Presiding Officers who conducted the election in the said disputed units did not use the BVAS machine could not be substantiated.

The court noted that INEC’s regulations and guidelines stipulate that “an election result can only be collated if the results agree with the figures in the BVAS and the ones transmitted to the INEC Results Viewing Portal, IRev.

“It is glaring that the appellant did not produce any BVAS machine report as evidence to buttress his claim.

“It is not in dispute that the BVAS accredits voters, it is therefore the only direct and primary record of voters on election day”, the Supreme Court held.

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