The Supreme Court yesterday affirmed the Osun State Governor- elect, Senator Ademola Adeleke as the authentic candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP). His major contender at the primary election, Dotun Babayemi, had challenged Adeleke’s emergence as the candidate of the party.
Babayemi had prayed the apex court to set aside the decisions of the lower courts and declare him as the PDP candidate for the July 16, 2023 governorship election in Osun State. The five-member Justices of the apex court, presided over by Justices Amina Augie, held that the appeal, as filed by the appellant, was filed out of time as pre-election matters are time bound. While noting that: “A preelection matters have a period of 14 days, and like the Rock of Gibraltar, cannot be moved”, the court added that, there is nothing before the court to invoke its jurisdiction Efforts by counsel to the appellant, Adebayo Adelodun (SAN) to convince the panel to take a look at the merits of the appeal proved abortive as the court held that it lacks jurisdiction to entertain the matter Prior to the 2022 Osun governorship election, different primaries produced Babayemi and Adeleke but the National Working Committee (NWC) of the PDP and the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) recognised Adeleke as the authentic candidate of the party.
Babayemi challenged the recognition of Adeleke as the candidate of the party before the Federal High Court and the Court of Appeal Court but lost and he approached the Supreme Court after Adeleke emerged the authentic candidate of the party because the right delegates voted for him.
In his judgment on the matter on May 18, Justice Nathaniel Ayo-Emmanuel of a Federal High Court, sitting in Osogbo, upheld the governorship primary that produced Adeleke. Also, the Court of Appeal, Akure Division, in its judgment of July 20 on the appeal filed against the decision of the Federal High Court, Osogbo, aligned with the lower court and dismissed Babayemi’s appeal.
Babayemi then appealed to the Supreme Court, asking it to set aside the judgements of the lower courts and declare him the governorship candidate of the PDP for the Osun State governorship election. Meanwhile, Senator Adeleke has dedicated his victory at the Supreme Court to God and the good people of the state. Describing the judgement as a decisive judicial victory Ademola described the outcome of the case as the manifestation of the strong hand of God in his governorship project, declaring that he with the armour of God is in victory by divine will.