Following the Supreme Court judgment which affirmed him as the governor of Osun State, Mr Gboyega Oyetola has promised not to disappoint the citizens who reposed their confidence in him and his party, the All Progressives Congress (APC).
Oyetola who spoke to the party enthusiasts and well-wishers immediately after the judgement at the popular Olaiya Park in Osogbo, the state capital thanked the people of Osun, asking them to expect more dividends of democracy as promised.
“I thank the entire people of Osun for their support through this turbulent period, particularly the women. We shall ensure we give women prominence and adequate representation in our government.
“I pledge to keep all the promises made during the electioneering campaign.”
The Supreme Court upheld the Judgment delivered by the Court of Appeal affirming Governor Adegboyega Oyetola as the duly elected governor of Osun State.
A seven-man panel led by Acting Chief Justice of Nigeria (CJN), Justice Ibrahim Muhammad had, after hearing the appeals on June 17 fixed July 5, for judgment.
The apex court in a split decision of five to two members of the panel, on Frida, agreed substantially with the Court of Appeal which ruled that a majority judgment delivered at the tribunal was a nullity.
The court held that the judge who read the majority judgment at the Election Tribunal, Peter Obiora, was evidently absent on February 6th, 2019, following the documents before the court.
It agreed with the Appeal Court that the absence of Justice Obiora when a key witness in the petition was heard has rendered the judgment of the trial tribunal a nullity.
And that the failure of Mr Obiora to be present on that day meant that the tribunal lacked the authorities to have given any judgment on the matter.
Justice Bode Rhodes-Vivour, who delivered the majority judgment, supported by five of the seven justices of the apex court panel held that it is settled law that when the rightly constituted panel of a court does not seat the activities carried out by that panel is a nullity.
While the Acting Chief Justice of Nigeria, Justice Tanko Muhammad and three other members consented to the lead majority judgment delivered by Justice Rhodes-Vivour, Justices Kumai Akaahs and Paul Galinje affirmed the tribunal judgment which declared PDP as the winner of the poll.
Justice Akaahs in the minority judgment held that the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) in an election ought to remain an unbias umpire.
He said even as INEC erred in law by relying on its manual to cancel some aspects of the election, the applicant still met the constitutional requirements of having the highest votes cast and spread.
Adeleke wishes Oyetola well
Meanwhile, the gubernatorial candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, Senator Ademola Adeleke has congratulated Governor Gboyega Oyetola on his victory at the Supreme Court, wishing him well in his sojourn as the governor.
The statement issued by Olawale Rasheed, the spokesperson to Adeleke, says his ambition was never a do or die affair.
“Regardless of my disagreement and disappointments, the judgment remains final and “as a Democrat and law-abiding citizen, I accept the ruling, no matter my misgivings. I wish Governor Oyetola well in the governance of Osun state”.
Adeleke expressed immense gratitude and appreciation to his supporters, leaders and members of the People’s Democratic Party for their massive support throughout the duration of the case, saying the commitment to the cause of democracy.
“In all circumstances, we must thank God Almighty. We gallantly fought a good fight in pursuance of a democratic cause. The ideals we fought for lives on.
“Our ambition was never a do or die affair. We aspired to serve and deliver democratic dividends to the people of Osun state. Our ambition was altruistic.
“We wish Governor Oyetola the best in the governance of the state”, the statement noted.” Adeleke said.
Meanwhile, the Peoples Democratic Party has accepted the judgment of the Supreme Court, even as it expressed displeasure that the party’s case was dismissed on technical grounds.
In a statement, Southwest Zonal Publicity Secretary, Ayo Fadaka said, “while the long journey to get justice finally got to its terminal with the Supreme Court judgment, anchored on the technicality of the absence of Justice Obiorah at the sittings of February 6th, the Party and our candidate have no further choice than to abide with this ruling compulsorily”.
“We, however, congratulate our candidate, Senator Ademola Adeleke, his family and entire Party members in Osun State for pursuing their rights to the very end. Posterity will, however, judge as history has taken good notice of all those who played a sinister role in the victory of APC in Osun State”, he said.
APC dedicates victory to God
In the meantime, the Osun State chapter of the All Progressives Congress has dedicated the Supreme Court to God, describing the outcome as prayers answered.
In a statement by the Director Research, Strategy and Publicity of the APC, Mr Kunle Oyatomi said, “The Progressive God that Osun people serve heard their prayers and granted their request.
“That Gboyega Oyetola, who won last September ‘s governorship election, should be so confirmed by the Supreme Court. God has used the highest legal authority of the Land to proclaim the truth that Oyetola lawfully won. And that is historic”
Oyatomi said the fears for the calamity that might have befallen the state of Osun if the PDP had been declared winner, had been assuaged but said the citizens are overjoyed for this amazing Grace.
“Those who had wished for a different outcome have a lesson to learn here, that there is a natural limit to which you can stretch evil.
“For good measure, this is not simply a victory for the party alone; it is a victory for the good people of the state of Osun.
“Providence has by this verdict, put a stamp of approval on the exceptional developments achieved in the state during the last eight years.
“Thank God, we are not mourning, neither are we mocking the opposition.
“We are simply telling them that now is the time to change and move on, to become a factor for good in Osun’s politics.
Osogbo erupts into jubilation
Party enthusiasts and hundreds of the Osun Youth Empowerment Scheme, OYES Cadets took to the streets on Friday at the breaking news of the Victory declared by the Supreme Court.
The cadets engage in various victory ride and parade dancing across the State of Osun.
The parade of victory led for Mr Governor, Adegboyega Oyetola, led by the OYES Commandant, Col. EniIbukun Oyewole simultaneously covered various local governments of the state.
This involves Ede North, Egbedore, Osogbo, Olorunda, Ifelodun, Irewole/Isokan among others.
Oyewole noted ‘that, “the enthusiasm shows that the cadets were appreciative of the victory as an assurance of our continuity as a scheme and this is the more reason for the motorcade and parade of victory to demonstrate and show our solidarity, commitment, loyalty and hard work of the government of our dear governor, Mr Adegboyega Oyetola”.
The victory parade involved motorcade battalion parade amidst drums & trumpets that took off from the government house and return to terminate at the Nelson Mandela Freedom Park in the State Capital.
Ogundokun congratulates Oyetola
An elder statesman, Chief Abiola Ogundokun has congratulated Governor Gboyega Oyetola for his victory at the Supreme court.
In a press statement, Ogundokun, the Publicity Secretary of the defunct National Party of Nigeria in the Second Republic charged the Governor to see his victory as an act of prayers answered.
He noted that nobody trades with God and record any loss.
“The campaign slogan of Oyetola is Ileri Oluwa literally translates to mean the promise of God.
“This promise has come into fruition with the Supreme Court victory,” Oguntokun said.
He urged residents of Osun State to team up with the administration of Gov. Oyetola to chart the course of more progress for the progressive government.
“The required leadership qualities to effectively paddle the canoe of Osun State to a successful berth is embedded in the gentlemanly statesman characteristic of Oyetola.
“This, he said should be looked at as part of the reasons to give unflinching support to his administration.”
The elder statesman appealed to Oyetola to forget all the litigation distractions and concentrate on his pursuit of humanitarian policies and programmes which he has demonstrated in his provision of infrastructural facilities and health interventions since his coming to power.
Speaker Congratulates Oyetola
In the same vein, the Speaker of the State of Osun House of Assembly, Mr Timothy Owoeye has congratulated the Governor of the State, Mr Gboyega Oyetola, and the entire members of the All Progressives Congress over the just recorded victory.
In a congratulatory message, Owoeye described the judgment as a confirmation of the people’s mandate which was freely given to Governor Gboyega Oyetola and the All Progressives Congress in the last year September governorship election in the State.
The Speaker commended the Supreme Court panel for their braveness and uprightness in the face of intimidation and campaign of calumny earlier embarked upon by the opposition party to get favourable judgment from the apex court.
Owoeye also commended the legal team of the trio of the All Progressives Congress, the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) and that of Gov. Oyetola for the thorough job and sacrifice they put into the governorship legal fireworks while it lasted.
Chief Whip congratulates Oyetola
In a related development, the Chief Whip of the House of Assembly, Mr Tunde Olatunji says, the supreme court judgment that affirmed the victory of Gboyega Oyetola is the will of God and a reaffirmation of the choice of the majority of the people of Osun State.
Olatunji said, “God had clearly spoken since September last year and the Apex judicial body in Nigeria has just confirmed that truly God rules in the affairs of men”.
The Osun Assembly Chief Whip pointed out that the high expectation of all parties that patiently waited for the verdict was proof that Nigerians believed in peaceful resolutions of conflicts, rather than resulting in self-help.
Olatunji, however, commended the opposition party for taking the legal option rather than resorting to self-help.
“The efforts of the PDP and its candidate is commendable, for adopting a civil approach in challenging the process from the beginning to the end.
This remains the only attitude to deepening democracy in the interest of tranquillity, peaceful coexistence and socio-economic development of our dear state and country “.
The Chief Whip said with the victory, Governor Oyetola had received a more psychological boost in the aggressive implementation of well-conceived policies for the consolidation of the transformation that started in the state over eight years ago.
He, therefore, called on all political parties, stakeholders and all citizens of the state to join hands with the governor, saying ” the task of developing the state is a joint civic responsibility of all “.
From Adeyinka Aremu, Osogbo