The Court of Appeal in Abuja commenced sitting on Monday in an appeal filed by Mr Ademola Adeleke of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) against a judgment of the tribunal that invalidated his election as governor of Osun State.
The three-member panel of justices began sitting in on the appeal at about 10 a.m.
While Adeleke is the appellant, Oyetola and the All Progressives Congress (APC) are the first and second respondents in the appeal marked CA/AK/EPT/GOV/01/2023.
The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) and the PDP are also joined as 3rd and 4th respondents, respectively.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the Osun State Governorship Election Petition Tribunal voided the July 16, 2022 election that produced Adeleke of the PDP as the elected governor on Jan. 27.
INEC had declared Adeleke the winner of the election after polling a total of 403,371 votes.
He was said to have won in 17 of the 30 local government areas in the state.
But the panel led by Justice Terste Kume, in its judgment, invalidated the election and declared Mr. Gboyega Oyetola of APC as the valid winner of the poll.
The tribunal directed INEC to withdraw the certificate of return issued to Adeleke and his deputy, Kola Adewusi, both of whom had been sworn in.
It, however, directed that the certificate of return should instead be issued to Oyetola.
Justice Kume held that the governorship election was not held in compliance with Nigeria’s Electoral Act.
The tribunal also held that the governorship election was characterized by overvoting.
It said that after deducting the excessive votes, the figure Oyetola polled at the election was 314, 921.
The tribunal, thus, ordered that Oyetola be returned as governor of Osun State.
INEC, in its earlier results, said Oyetola won in 13 LGAs with 375,027 votes in the July 16, 2022, governorship election.
In his petition, Oyetola, the immediate-past governor of the state, alleged that the election was characterized by overvoting in 749 polling units.
He also argued that Adeleke forged the academic credentials he submitted to INEC to contest the election.
The tribunal commenced sitting in August 2022, a few weeks after the governorship election.
Oyetola and the APC were petitioners in the case, with Lateef Fagbemi, SAN, and Akin Olujimi, SAN, as their lead counsel.