The Supreme Court on Monday reserved Judgment till July 5 in the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP’s) suit challenging the election of All Progressives Congress (APC), Gboyega Oyetola as Governor of Osun State.
A seven man panel of justices of the apex court presided over by Acting Chief Justice of Nigeria (CJN), Justice Tanko Muhammad, announced the date after counsel in the matter adopted and argued their brief of argument in the matter.
PDP and its governorship candidate in the September 2018 governorship election, Ademola Adeleke in their appeal are asking the apex court to set aside the Judgment of the Court of Appeal and restore the Judgment of the Osun State Election Petition Tribunal which declared Adeleke as winner of the governorship election.
Governor Adegboyega Oyetola, his party, the All Progressives Congress (APC) and the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) have urged the Supreme Court to dismiss the appeals filed the candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in the last governorship election in Osun State, Senator Ademola Adeleke on the grounds that they lacked merit and substance.
At thr resumed hearing, by agreement of lawyers in the appeals, the court took submissions from Onyechi Ikpeazu (SAN) for the appellant and Wole Olanipekun (SAN) for the 1st respondent (Oyetola) in respect of appeal marked: SC/553/2019.
The court said its judgment in the main appeal – SC/553/2019 – will be applied to two other similar ones, filed by Adeleke against the Court of Appeal’s decision in relation to the appeals filed by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) and the APC,marked: SC/554/2019 and SC/555/2019.
The court also took arguments from Ikpeazu (for the appellant), Yusuf Ali (SAN) for INEC; Bode Olanipekun (SAN) for Oyetola and Olumide Olujinmi, for APC in relation to the fourth appeal, marked: SC/556/2019.
In their arguments, lawyers to the respondents – INEC, Oyetola and the APC faulted the appeals and prayed the court to dismiss them for lacking in merit.
The respondents prayed the court to uphold the judgments as given on May9, 2019 by the Court of Appeal in Abuja, which affirmed Oyetola of the APC as the winner of the governorship election held in september 2018.
However, Ikpeazu while moving Adeleke’s appeal prayed the supreme Court to allow the appeal and set aside the decision of the Court of Appeal, Abuja division and restore the majority decision of the state election petition tribunal which declared Adeleke as the winner.
The appellant counsel informed the court that INEC was wrong in cancelling election in seven polling units and conducting a supplementary election without a court.
Ikpeazu said that paragraph 44 of the INEC guidelines used to cancel the election and conducting the supplementary election was in violation of section 179 of the 1999 constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, adding that the appellant had already met Constitutional provisions to be declared as the winner of the election without the supplementary election.
He therefore pleaded with the apex court to resolve all the issues in favour of his client.