Presidential candidate of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Bola Ahmed Tinubu and the Ondo State Governor, Rotimi Akeredolu, has congratulated Adegboyega Oyetola on his victory at the Osun State Election Petition Tribunal.
The Tribunal chaired by Justice Tertse Kume, on Friday voided the election of Senator Ademola Adeleke of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP).
The Tribunal held that there was over-voting in some polling units across the State in the July 16, 2022 governorship.
It therefore declared Oyetola of the APC as the rightful winner of the election.
Tinubu said in a statement signed by his media aide, Tunde Rahman, that the victory was deserving for Oyetola and is a triumph over forces of darkness that have tried to emasculate the light of democracy in the state.
He said: “I heartily rejoice with Alhaji Adegboyega Oyetola on his much deserved victory at the Election Tribunal today. It is the victory of light over darkness. A triumph of perseverance, courage and justice over electoral fraud and democratic perversion.
“The forces of darkness plotted to extinguish the able leadership and progressive good governance that improved the quality of life of our people under your leadership. But today, the Tribunal delivered justice and restored the mandate freely given to you and our great party.
“I am confident that the good work you championed that was momentarily paused will soon resume and Osun people will be happy again.
“And together we can renew their hope of a shared prosperity.”
On his part, the Ondo State governor in a series of tweets on Friday afternoon after the judgement was delivered in Osogbo, expressed delight on the news of the ruling and described it as a victory for democracy in not just Osun but the entire country.
Akeredolu further noted that the judgement will also sustain the faith of the people in the democratic process.
The Ondo governor assured Oyetola of his continued solidarity as the case proceeds up to the Supreme Court.
He wrote: “I congratulate my dearest brother, Alhaji Gboyega Oyetola (Ileri-Oluwa). I also rejoice with the good people of Osun State and the entire family. This is a victory for all.
“This is indeed a victory for democracy. No doubt, the judgment will further consolidate and deepen our country’s democratic values and Election Petitions jurisprudence. It will also sustain the faith of the people in our democratic process. The will of the people has prevailed.
“While we relish the victory of the moment, I like to assure my dearest brother, Gboyega that we will be with him all the way to the Supreme Court. We shall hold hands together and march on this path of shared conviction. At the end, this victory shall be permanent.”
Akeredolu pointed out that the tribunal ruling has cleared issues surrounding the election, saying he was confident that “the mandate restored will provide a new lease of life for Osun State.”
He urged the APC members to rejoice in the victory, adding that it is a greater booster for them ahead of forthcoming elections.
Adeleke rejects Judgement, PDP Kicks
Meanwhile, Governor Adeleke has announced his rejection of the verdict, describing it as a “miscarriage of justice.”
He vowed to appeal the judgement in the Court of Appeal, insisting that he remains the rightful winner of the July 16 election.
The PDP national leadership also rose in solidarity with Governor Adeleke in rejecting the judgement.
In a statement released by the PDP National Publicity Secretary, Debo Ologunagba, the party said the judgment of the Tribunal is contrary to the will of the people of Osun State expressed through the votes cast for the party and the candidate at the election.
It said that the election was adjudged by “Local and International Observers to be free, fair, transparent” and was “clearly won by the PDP and our Candidate, Governor Ademola Adeleke in confirmation of the wishes and aspiration of the people.
“The Will of the people of Osun State as expressed by electing Governor Adeleke must be respected. As a law-abiding Party, the PDP will explore all available legal means to restore the victory of our Party.
“The PDP charges the people of Osun State to be calm, remain at alert and continue to support Governor Adeleke as we restate our confidence in the Institution of the Judiciary to dispense justice in this matter at the Appellate Court,” the statement added.
The PDP presidential candidate, Atiku Abubakar, while reacting to the judgement, said he stands in solidarity with the people of Osun State who “overwhelmingly voted for the Peoples Democratic Party” and “gave their mandate to His Excellency Governor Ademola Adeleke.”
Atiku further stated that what happened at the tribunal on Friday is a phase in the struggle to the liberation of Osun State, and expressed optimism that “at the conclusion of the whole process, the people shall be victorious.”
He equally called on the people to be calm and continue to have faith in their governor.