Adeleke, Oyetola warm up for final battle - OPID News

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Wednesday, 29 March 2023

Adeleke, Oyetola warm up for final battle

 Adeleke, Oyetola warm up for final battle

The Court of Appeal on Friday confirmed Ademola Adeleke as the Osun State Governor. THE PUNCH writes that the matter is not yet over as the governor’s predecessor, Adegboyega Oyetola, is set to take the battle to the Supreme Court

The Friday judgement of the Court of Appeal, sitting in Abuja, which affirmed the victory of Osun State Governor, Ademola Adeleke, in the July 16, 2022 governorship poll, to some followers of political events in the state, was not just another judicial pronouncement, but a pointer to an impending repeat of history.

After taking over reign of the state as its sixth democratically elected governor, Adeleke and his supporters must have felt fulfilled, but they were not unaware of how slender the joy on their hands was, because of a case filed before an election petition tribunal, challenging his victory.

By the time Adeleke was settling down in office as governor, the trial of the petition instituted by the candidate of the All Progressives Congress at the poll, Adegboyega Oyetola, threatening to cut short the tenure of the new governor, was already in full swing.

But amidst fear and expectations among supporters of the two men, who have emerged as the two most valuable brands on the Osun political scene since 2018, Adeleke went ahead administering the state.

While just getting acquainted with his new status, Adeleke was told by Justice Tertsea Kume-led tribunal, to vacate office for Oyetola, who was said to have won the governorship poll.

In the January 27, 2023 judgement, Justice Kume, in the majority opinion of the panel, considered the plea of the petitioners, that over-voting occurred in 749 units, spread across 10 local government areas, during the poll.

“You can also check out how the 2018 political battle between Oyetola and Adeleke started and ended. If you do diligent analysis, you will see that thunder will surely strike twice at the same spot with the turn the current court case between the two men is taking.

“In 2018, after the run-off, INEC returned Oyetola elected and Adeleke went to the tribunal and he won before the panel. Oyetola appealed the judgement and he won the appeal. The Supreme Court also ruled in his favour. I am seeing the same scenario playing out in the ongoing court case.

“In 2022, INEC returned Adeleke, Oyetola went to tribunal, he got a favourable verdict and Adeleke went on appeal which he just won. Many people may not believe it, but I see the same thing that happened to the 2018 case repeating itself in this 2022 governorship tussle.”

But many supporters of Oyetola and members of APC dismissed this position, insisting that the Apex Court would uphold the decision of the lower Tribunal and return Oyetola to office.

Funso Fagbongbe, ex-Senior Special Assistant to Osun State Governor on Political Affairs, Rasaq Olaoye, a chieftain of APC in the  Ila Local Government Area and Titilayo Ogunremi, a member of APC in the Odo Otin Local Government Area said those chasing a repeat of history were only expressing their wishes, which may not come to reality.

Fagbongbe while insisting that the Supreme Court decision on the issue would go Oyetola’s way further stressed “those referring to history and saying what happened to the 2018 case would happen this time around were only expressing their wishes.

“But, tell them the two cases are not the same. We have put Court of Appeal decision behind us. Our attention is now on the Supreme Court and we know Oyetola will get a favourable judgement at the Apex Court. We believe that is going to happen.”

Contributing scholarly view to the debate, a professor of Anthropology of Development, University of Ibadan, Aderemi Ajala, admitted history had its cause, he was quick to add that, “every history is circumstantial. Though history usually has its cause, the circumstances will not be too distant from each other for a repeat of history to occur.

“In application to the context we have, (Adeleke, Oyetola court case), we may have circumstances that are related, but that does not suggest that history must repeat itself. It may, or may not.

“It is not cast in iron. Nobody can precisely say that the cause of history in 2018 to the litigation between Oyetola and Adeleke will repeat itself. It may be, and it may not be, except if people who are directly involved (the two actors) know they have cause to let that history repeat itself. If they have not taken any cause to make such history repeat itself, there won’t be any circumstance for that history to repeat itself.

“For instance, if Oyetola knows that he has taken certain actions which may make him not triumph at the Supreme Court, history will repeat itself. Invariably, if Adeleke knows he has taken certain actions which may make him lose at the Supreme Court, history will not repeat itself. But if neither of the two has taken any action that will make history repeat itself, history will not repeat itself.”

Dr Misbau Alamu, a Senior Law Lecturer University of Hull, United Kingdom, said those hoping that history would repeat itself in the matter, “may be right but, that’s mere conjectures.”

In their separate submissions, spokespersons for the and the PDP in the state said the parties in the matter, would be relying on the merit of their cases, rather than banking on history.

Mr Kola Olabisi, the spokesperson for the APC, during a chat, said, “We have very good grounds of appeal at the Supreme Court. It’s not unusual for a case not to fly at an Appeal Court but makes it to victory at the highest court of the land. History is replete with similar cases in the past. If history should repeat itself at the Supreme Court, the heavens would not fall.” THE PUNCH

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