The Court of Appeal in Abuja on Thursday set aside the majority decision of the Osun State Election Petition Tribunal, which nullified the election of Osun State Governor, Adegboyega Oyetola, and returned candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Senator Ademola Adeleke, as lawful winner of the September 2018 governorship election in Osun State.
The appellate court in a majority judgment of four-one, nullified the majority judgment of the tribunal delivered by Peter Obiorah on the grounds he (Obiorah) in his judgment relied on the evidence of two witnesses which he did not observe.
The appellate court in the majority judgment delivered by the presiding judge, Justice Jummai Sankey, declared the decision of the tribunal which sacked Oyetola as governor a nullity and consequently set it aside.
Meanwhile, the 5th member of the panel, Justice George Mbamba, in a dissenting judgment dismissed the appeal and upheld the decision of the tribunal.
Justice Mbamba, held that the submission of the appellant that Justice Obiorah did not participate in the proceedings of February 6, 2019 remains speculative, contentious and one that can only be resolved by means of an affidavit and calling of witnesses.
He argued that if the records of the proceedings of February 6, opened with the statement that the full panel sat the fact that he did not sign the proceedings cannot be enough to conclude that he did not participate in the day’s proceedings.
Mbamba further noted that the issue of sabotage cannot be overruled as the records were transmitted by court’s registrar.
He consequently dismissed the appeal and upheld the majority decision of the tribunal which sacked Oyetola and returned Adeleke as governor.