Tuesday, December 5, 2023

Adeleke : Supreme Court judgement will strengthen Nigeria’s democracy

Governor Ademola Adeleke of Osun state said the judgement of the Supreme Court, affirming his victory at the 2022 governorship election in the state, will strengthen democracy in the country.

Adeleke stated this while addressing newsmen after the Supreme Court judgement on Tuesday.

He said, “The Supreme Court judgement has again validated our victory. This judgement will streghten democracy. This is our state and we must join hands to develop it.

“My special appreciation goes to my family, my brother, my sister, my wife, Titi and Ngozi. You are all my strong pillars of support. I thank my my children and all Imole and PDP supporters locally and internationally,” he said.

Recall that the Supreme Court, has affirmed Adeleke of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, as the validly elected governor of the state.

The apex court, in its lead judgement that was delivered by Justice Emmanuel Agim, dismissed an appeal that was lodged against Adeleke’s election victory by the former governor of the state, Adegboyega Oyetola, who was the gubernatorial candidate of the All Progressives Congress, APC.

It held that though Oyetola alleged that Adeleke won through over-voting that occured in 774 polling units in the state, he, however, failed to produce any Bimodal Voters Accreditation System, BVAS, machine that was used in any of the polling units to prove his allegation.

“It is glaring that the Appellant did not provide in evidence, any BVAS, but sought to prove over-voting by means of a report of examination of INEC’s database or backend server”.

The apex court held that since it was not in dispute that the BVAS contain record of accredited voters, “it is therefore the only direct and primary record of voters accredited at polling units on election day”.

It held that nothing in either Section 47 of the Electoral Act 2022 or Regulations 18- 23 of the INEC’s Regulations, made it mandatory for Presiding Officers in an election to transmit by BVAS, the number of accredited voters in each polling unit to the back-end server.

It dismissed evidence of purported expert witnesses that were testified in Oyeyola’s favour.

The apex court said it found no reason to set aside the verdict of the Court of Appeal which upheld Adeleke’s election victory.

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