The Osun State Elections Petitions Tribunal has recently made a significant ruling in the ongoing governorship election dispute.
The tribunal has nullified the election of Ademola Adeleke of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and declared Gboyega Oyetola, the governorship candidate of the All Progressives Congress, as the winner of the July 16, 2022 election.
This ruling comes after Oyetola, a former Osun governor, and the APC petitioned the tribunal in August 2022 to challenge Adeleke’s election victory. Among the several issues raised, Oyetola contended that there was overvoting in 749 polling units across 10 local government areas of the state.
The Justice Tetse Kume-led panel, in its judgement on Friday, said there was overvoting as a result of BVAS manipulation.
BVAS, or the Ballot Viewing and Authentication System, is an electronic system that allows voters to confirm their votes before casting them. However, in this case, it appears that the system was manipulated in a way that led to overvoting.
The tribunal, in its ruling, declared that the electoral body, INEC, should withdraw the Certificate of Return issued to Adeleke and issue the same to Oyetola. The majority judgement, which was read by the Chairman, Justice Kume, stated that Oyetola received the majority of lawful votes at 314,931 while Adeleke received 219,666.
It is worth noting that this ruling is not final and Adeleke has the right to appeal the judgement.
However, for the time being, Gboyega Oyetola has been declared the winner of the Osun State governorship election. The question remains, how come overvoting occurred when BVAS was used in the election. This is an issue that will likely be further examined as the legal proceedings continue.