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Supreme Court justices accuse INEC of rigging Osun governorship election

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Two Supreme Court justices, Kumai Akaas and Paul Galinje, have accused the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) of rigging the Osun State governorship election in favour of Gboyega Oyetola, the state governor.

The Supreme Court on Friday affirmed the election of Gboyega Oyetola as governor of Osun State.

The majority of justices on the seven-man panel of the court dismissed the appeal of Senator Ademola Adeleke challenging the declaration of  Oyetola as the winner of the election.

However, justices Akaas and Galinje, in a minority decision, argued that the courts should have given attention to the controversy over the rerun polls.

Akaas said INEC had no cogent reason to have conducted a rerun.

“INEC is supposed to be an umpire, not a partisan group. For INEC to have pronounced the election inconclusive showed that it had something up its sleeves. And it achieved that through the rerun,” said Justice Akaas.

Rhodes-Vivour said ruled that the judge who issued the majority decision at the tribunal, Peter Obiora, was absent on February 6, 2019, when a major discussion on non-compliance was tabled before the tribunal and could therefore not have viewed the issue objectively.

Disagreeing, Justice Galinje said although the absence of Obiora should result in the nullification of the judgement of the election tribunal, “the only way to affirm that was by producing the original court records.”

The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) in September 2018 declared Oyetola winner of the Osun governorship election after a controversial rerun.

Unsatisfied with INEC’s declaration, Ademola Adeleke of Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) candidate, filed a petition against Oyetola of the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) at the tribunal.

The tribunal declared Adeleke winner of the election in March. However, Gboyega appealed the verdict of the tribunal.

In May, the appeal court nullified Adeleke and declared Oyetola as the winner of the election.


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