The Court of Appeal in Ibadan on Monday left many confused after giving its ruling in the March 9, 2019 governorship election dispute case between Oyo State Governor, Seyi Makinde and Adebayo Adelabu of the All Progressives Congress (APC).
The court berated the tribunal judgment which upheld Makinde’s election last month but stated that election could not be nullified.
Rather than dismiss the petitioner’s case or sack the incumbent who was the candidate of tbe Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), the judges said if not for the time limit, it would have ordered a retrial.
While supporters of the APC and PDP raised the confusion by both claiming victory, it is understood that Adelabu’s lawyers are already preparing to head for the Supreme Court.
The four-man Appeal Court panel led by Justice Abubakar Yahaya held that the tribunal erred by not considering every document submitted by Adelabu to prove his case and lumping them together as one. It however did not give any consequential order to the effect.
The Appellate Court in its ruling went on to resolve all the four issues raised by Adelabu in favour of Makinde. The court noted that it allowed the appeal because there were issues of miscarriage of justice at the lower court but added that a judgement must be given after considering the situation in its entirety.
The court further noted that in the present situation, the 180 days mandated for the tribunal to operate had lapsed and there was consequently no reason to touch the ruling of the lower court.