The Supreme Court yesterday delivered what will go down as a historical judgment in the annals of Nigerian elections.
In a majority ruling of 5 to 2, the Supreme Court upheld the victory of Gboyega Oyetola of the All Progressives Congress in the Osun State guberatorial tussle.
The Supreme Court, in a majority decision read by Justice Olabode Rodes-Vivour, held that the failure of a member of the election tribunal, Justice Peter Obiora to sit on February 6, 2019 rendered the entire
proceedings and the judgment given by the tribunal a nullity.
Acting CJN, Tanko Muhammad, Justice Rhodes-Vivour, Justice Kekere-Ekun, Justice Sanusi and Justice Abaaji consented to the majority judgment dismissing PDP’s appeals on Osun election. Justices Akaahs and Galinje dissented.
What many may not know however is that there is a powerful albeit unseen hand behind yesterday’s victory of the APC at the Supreme Court.
And that is the hand of the National Leader of the party, Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu.
The national leader in his reaction to the victory commended the Supreme Court’s judgment on the Osun Guber Poll.
The national leader of the party stated that the judgement of the Supreme Court, further vindicates the judiciary as unbiased, independent and impartial.
Tinubu unveiled his reaction to the Supreme Court judgement on the Osun state election in a statement entitled “Supreme Court Verdict on Osun: Testimony that Judiciary is on Course.”
In the statement, Tinubu said the judgment which reaffirmed the victory of Gov. Gboyega Oyetola was a testimony that the judiciary was firmly on course and worked with the peoples’ aspiration.
Tinubu commended the apex court for dispensing justice despite what he described as intimidation, unnecessary accusations and rumour-mongering that have since surrounded the outcome of the Osun state election.
“The court did not rule based on any hearsay but acted on the basis of the merits and demerits of the case before it.
“The Supreme Court and the Judiciary, therefore, deserve our commendation for it has further strengthened the democratic process.”*
In the statement on the Osun state election, Tinubu also commended the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) for discharging itself creditably on the Osun election.
“On the issue of the Electoral Act, it is only the INEC, as the electoral body, that can apply the law appropriately with respect to elections.
“This, the commission did rightly,’’ he said.
While speaking further, the statement noted that Tinubu said that the verdict of the apex court laid to rest the tussle over the Osun governorship election.
“Now, governance can begin in full swing and the people of Osun can begin to reap the fruits of the government they voted to put in place.
“I congratulate Gov. Oyetola for his steadfastness and for remaining calm while the electoral case lasted.
“The All Progressives Congress must be commended for standing firmly behind the governor. I also commend the government and people of Osun in allowing the rule of law to run its entire course.
“I urge them to continue to assist the security agencies in maintaining and sustaining the peace,’’ he said.
While he congratulated Governor Gboyega Oyetola for his well-deserved victory in the Osun state election, Tinubu further urged the Osun state governor to be magnanimous in victory by extending his hands of fellowship to the Peoples Democratic Party and continue to unite the people.
“PDP and its candidate, Sen. Ademola Adeleke, have exercised and exhausted their rights as expected of them. I praise them for their doggedness.
“It is now time to rally round and join hands with the government to move Osun to the Next Level,’’ Tinubu said.
While he may not have directly influenced the ruling, it is well known however that he has been a notable force for the party in the country especially in the South West.
His effort to save the party from losing the Oyo state gubernatorial election is well known.
Barely two weeks to the election when feelers showed a grime outing for the All Progressives Congress, Tinubu had swung into action, relegating the then former governor of the state who was especially in the eye of the
storm to the background as he took charge of the campaign machinery of the party in the state in a bid to salvage what was unfortunately a bad case.
The rest as they say is history.
While Tinubu like I mentioned earlier may not have directly influenced the verdict of the 7 man bench of Justice of the Supreme court, anyone conversant with Nigerian politics will definitely know that he has been a
force from the background and yesterday’s verdict of the Supreme court is a testament to his continued brilliance in politics.
Anyone who can recall how he fought the then Federal government led by Chief Olusegun Obasanjo to a standstill while he was governor over the seized state allocation for the sole reason of the newly created local
council development areas will understand how far the Jagaban has come in Nigerian politics.
It should be expected in the nearest future even as we move down to 2023 more of this brilliance will be seen and felt within the Nigerian political space.
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