The Nigerian political landscape has seen its fair share of uncomfortable, awkward, or disagreeable times since the return of democracy in 1999.
Over the years, the country has witnessed multiple election results contested by opposing parties resulting in months of legal battles.
Against the backdrop of the Supreme Court victory by the Governor of Osun State, Ademola Adeleke against Gbenga Oyetola of the All Progressives Congress, The PUNCH hereby highlights the four most high profile politicians who obtained or regained their electoral victory through the court.
Ademola Adeleke, Osun
In July 2022, the Peoples Democratic Party governorship candidate, Ademola Adeleke, emerged as the winner of the Osun State governorship election. The zestful politician garnered 403,371 votes to emerge victorious.
His win, however, was contested by rival Oyetola and his All Progressives Congress on the claims of overvoting, amongst others including the claim about Adeleke’s educational qualification.
Following Justice Tertsea Kume-led tribunal declaring Adeleke’s win void and ordering the Independent National Electoral Commission to withdraw the Certificate of Return it had earlier issued the PDP candidate, Adeleke continued to seek justice and got this May 9, when the Supreme Court declared him the authentic winner of the 2022 governorship election.
Ogbeni Rauf Aregbsola, Osun
Minister of Interior, Rauf Aregbesola
In a three-year gruelling process that saw Rauf Aregbesola fight for not just justice but, also his life and name, the Action Congress of Nigeria candidate eventually emerged victorious.
Following former governor Olagunsoye Oyinlola’s declaration as winner of the 2007 Osun State governorship election, Aregbesola headed to court armed with 100 witnesses and 168 exhibits tendered in his petition before the Election Petitions Tribunal, alleging violence and ballot box stuffing during the April 14, 2007 election.
From his arrest, alongside claims of forgery and allegations of terrorism, Aregbesola emerged the winner. He was declared governor of Osun State and sworn in the next day.
Kayode Fayemi, Ekiti
Following Olusegun Oni’s declaration as the winner of the 2007 governorship election in Ekiti State, Kayode Fayemi of the ACN disputed the victory, appealing the outcome.
After three and a half years of appeal and a thorough analysis of the election, Fayemi was declared governor on October 15, 2010, by the Appeal Court sitting in Kwara State.
Hope Uzodimma, Imo
Imo State Governor, Hope Uzodinma
In 2019, Hope Uzodimma contested the Imo State governorship election results after INEC declared the Peoples Democratic Party candidate, Emeka Ihedioha, the winner.
Coming in the fourth place with 96,458 votes, Uzodimma sought justice in court. After months of legal battle, on January 14, 2019, the Supreme Court declared Uzodimma the winner of the election held in the state.
The court also revealed that results from 388 polling units originally ascribed to Uzodimma were excluded from his votes.
Ayo Fayose, Ekiti
The Peoples Democratic Party Ekiti State governorship candidate, Ayodele Fayose, contested the ruling to nullify his victory at the 2014 governorship election in the state.
The losing party, the All Progressives Congress, whose candidate, Kayode Fayemi, lost to Fayose, petitioned the Ekiti Governorship Election Tribunal alleging that Fayose forged his academic credentials and breached the Code of Conduct rules.
The petition was dismissed for lack of merit. On February 16, the Supreme Court upheld the judgment of the Election Tribunal and affirmed Fayose as the winner of the June 21, 2014, governorship election.