No Victor, No Vanquish, Democracy Won – Oyetola Reacts
Former governor of Osun State, Gboyega Oyetola, has said democracy won in the Tribunal ruling that ousted Governor Adeleke on Friday.
TheTimes reports that Oyetola said the ruling is a no victor, no vanquish win – a statement first used by a former head of state of Nigeria, Yakubu Gowon at the end of 30 months civil war, that reportedly led to the death of about one million Ndigbo, including women and children.
A three-man panel on Friday sacked Ademola Adeleke who was declared winner of July 16, 2022 Osun governorship election. Osun State is yet to witness peace since the Tribunal ruling yesterday, a decision that has been described as judicial magic by Senator Sani, read more.
In a judgment read by Justice Tertsea Kume, the Tribunal said INEC did not comply substantially with the constitution and the provisions of the Electoral Act.
Justice Kume said it was established that there was an overvoting and subsequently deducted this from the votes scored by the candidates and declared that Oyetola won the election, having polled 314, 921, while Adeleke’s score came down to 290, 266.
The Tribunal thereafter directed INEC to withdraw Adeleke’s certificate of return and issued another one to Oyetola who won a majority of the lawful votes.
In his words, the defenses of the respondents are taint with fundamental flaws, irreconcilable and unreliable, incapable of defeating the credible evidence tendered by the petitioners in respect of the 744 polling units where overvoting has been established.
“The inference we hereby draw from the fact established by the evidence and record is that the election conducted on the 16th day of July, 2022 was done in substantial non-compliance with the provisions of the Electoral Acts and extant regulations.
“Moreover, exhibit BVR has not been withdrawn by the first respondent who made and issued it. The petitioners relied on exhibit BVR in maintaining this petition.
“Similarly, the exhibit tendered by the respondents after exhibit BVR submitted by learned counsel to the petitioners was thought of after the declaration of result on the 17th day of July, 2022.
“The said conduct of the respondents, especially, the first respondent amounts to tampering with official records. The conduct of the first respondent in the said election under consideration has produced multiple accusation report, contrary to votes declaration, to conduct of free, fair and credible elections on the basis of one man or woman with one vote.
“Consequently, to forestall a manipulation of BIVAS machines in the conduct of elections in Nigeria by the first respondent, the presiding officers at the polling units and other key officers of the first respondent should act on the vest won by them.
“For the sake of emphasis, the total lawful vote cast for each of the candidates after the said deduction of invalid votes is 314,931 for the first petitioner and 219,666 votes for the second respondent.
“The second respondent did not score a majority of lawful votes cast for the election. The declaration and return is hereby declared as null and void, the second respondent cannot ‘go low low and buga won’ as duly elected governor of Osun State in the election conducted on July 16th 2022.
“Rather, we hereby hold that, the first petitioner scored the majority of lawful votes in the said election and is hereby returned as such.
“The first respondent is hereby directed to withdraw the Certificate of Return issued to the second respondent and give the first petitioner Certificate of Return as the duly elected governor,” Kume read.
In reaction to the judgment, Oyetola said “There is no victor, no vanquish, it is a collective victory for our state and our nation democracy. I am happy that the judgment had resolved the controversy of July 16th 2022 governorship election.”
He added that “INEC is the greatest beneficiary of the judgement, it will afford them the opportunity to look at all the anomalies and make necessary to prevent such mistakes again now that General Election is coming. I thank the people of the state and supporters for standing by us for the courage and loyalty, I want to assure them that we are ready to continue to serve them.”