HomeFeaturesOsun Verdict; Senior Lawyers In Disbelief Over Judge's Phrase

Osun Verdict; Senior Lawyers In Disbelief Over Judge’s Phrase

The verdict of the Osun governorship tribunal sacking Ademola Adeleke of the People’s Democratic Party on Friday as the duly elected governor of the state is drawing public scrutiny, particularly on social media, but not for the substance of the ruling, rather, a phrase used by the tribunal judge who delivered the judgement.

The head of the tribunal, Justice Tertsea Aorga Kume, while reading the lead judgment that declared Adegboyega Oyetola of the All Progressives Congress (APC) as the winner of the election, held that Governor Ademola Adeleke “can’t go lo lo lo” to “Buga won”; apparently referring to Governor Adeleke’s love for music and dancing.

While some people see nothing wrong with the judge quoting Kizz Daniel’s song to buttress the judgment others saw it as unethical and unnecessary.

Already the Osun State chapter of the PDP has faulted the use of the popular ‘Buga’ lyric, describing it as disrespectful to an elected governor.

In a statement issued in Osogbo by the Osun PDP Caretaker Committee Chairman, Akindele Adekunle, the party insisted that the choice of words by Justice Kume was unethical and should not have come from a judicial officer of such repute.

Efforts made by LEADERSHIP SUNDAY to get reactions from some senior lawyers in the country on the issue were not successful, as most of them, questioned whether the judge truly made the remark and said they can only comment on it after they must have read the judgment.

However, a Lagos-based lawyer, Mike Ojo saw nothing wrong with the quote, he said that judges are products of Nigerian society and use local proverbs, poems and idiomatic expressions to express themselves.

Ojo noted that legal icons like Justice Chukwudi Oputa, Justice Kayode Esho, Justice Adolphus Godwin Karibi-Whyte and many others are popular for using language and illustrations to buttress their points.

He said, “So there is nothing wrong in my opinion in the quote because it did not take anything away from the judgment itself and it does not stop the losing party from appealing the tribunal verdict.

According to other lawyers, the expression is pedestrian and should not have been used by the tribunal.

A Senior Advocate of Nigeria, Abdul Balogun, described the expression as unnecessary.

According to him, the expression may be funny but seriously speaking, it has no place in law and should not have been used.

He said, “The expression has no place in law and therefore, shouldn’t have been used. There are other serious expression that should have been used by the tribunal to drive home their point, not lo lo lo lo BUGA”.

Human Rights lawyer, Barrister Edward Omaga, also agreed with the senior advocate that the expression was unnecessary.

“That expression has no place in legal parlance. It’s so funny indeed”, Omaga said.

A Constitutional lawyer, Barrister Oghenovo Otemu, a Constitutional lawyer, said described the expression as belittling of the judiciary.

He said in writing judgement, judges use expressions in the Quran, the Bible and other wise sayings to drive home their point, but the BUGA expression makes a mockery of the judiciary.

He said, “As far as I am concerned, the BUGA expression in a judgment that is as serious as governorship election is pedestrian and shouldn’t have been used”.

*Adeleke, PDP Fault Tribunal Judgement, Writes INEC*
Osun State governor, Ademola Adeleke, is however not distracted by the social media buzz the expression has generated.

He is rather focused on the weight of the verdict and has wasted no time in asking the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) not to issue a Certificate of Return to Alhaji Adegboyega Oyetola.

In a letter to the electoral umpire Chairman, Professor Mahmood Yakubu, Adeleke, LEADERSHIP Sunday learnt that he urged INEC not to issue the certificate of return to Oyetola pending the outcome of his appeal.

The letter partly signed by Hashim Abioye, lawyer to Adeleke, reads, “As Solicitors to the 2nd Respondent, Senator Ademola Jackson Nurudeen Adeleke, we humbly write to notify you that consequent upon the dissatisfaction of the 2nd Respondent by the majority decision of the Osun State Governorship Election Petition Tribunal delivered on January 27, 2023, the 2nd Respondent has applied for a certified true copy of the judgement to enable him pursue his appeal against the said judgement.

“In the light of the foregoing, we humbly ask you to apply the relevant provisions of the Electoral Act, 2022, by not issuing any certificate (of) return to the 1st petitioner in the petition pending the outcome of the appeal which we are confident will be favourable to our client”.

Meanwhile, in a broadcast to the people of the state, Governor Adeleke insisted that there was no majority judgement delivered by the tribunal.

His words: “Two members of the tribunal delivered opposing judgement, the chairman and a member, the member did not deliver any judgement, she abstained.

Adeleke maintained that the chairman’s judgement on over voting is unfortunate and a miscarriage of justice.

He noted that he has instructed his lawyers to appeal the judgement as he remained the governor of Osun State.

In the light of protests against the tribunal’s judgement, the governor called on the people of Osun to remain calm and go about their normal day activities peacefully.

Meanwhile, people in their numbers trooped out in Osogbo, Ede, Ilobu and Ilesa to protest against the outcome of the verdict of the tribunal.

Some of the inscription as captured by our correspondent include: “This is miscarriage of justice” “On Imole mandate we stand” “Osun Citizens Reject Oyetola” “Imole has come to stay”

Men of Osun State police command were on ground to curtail violence and had to fire into the air at Aregbe junction along Gbongan road to scare away protesters.

Addressing journalists in Osogbo on Saturday, the Osun Caretaker Committee Chairman of the party, Dr Akindele Adekunle noted that the Osun State Election Petition Tribunal judgement delivered on Friday was a booby trap set against the very existence and survival of our already strained democracy.

“Our party takes exception to the blanket rubbish of recent innovations introduced into the electoral process through the 2022 amended electoral act, as passed by the national assembly and assented to by President Muhammadu Buhari.

“That the use of Bimodal Voters Accreditation System used as primary tool in the election which was made to look useless and immaterial in the adjudication process by Mr Tetse Kume led stalemated judgement was anti-climax of sort in a country barely surviving on thin line of shrinking perseverance”.

The verdict comes four weeks to the presidential election with the PDP’s Atiku Abubakar and Ahmed Tinubu of the APC seen as the major contenders. Osun is one of only two states governed by the PDP in the southwest.

While Adeleke will remain governor during the presidential election, the tribunal’s verdict raises the stakes in Osun and gives the APC momentum ahead of the presidential poll.

*Tribunal Ruled Adeleke Forged His Certificate, Oyetola Insists*
Meanwhile, Adegboyega Oyetola is drawing attention back to the ruling of the tribunal insisting that he proved a case of forgery against incumbent Osun Governor, Ademola Adeleke.

His media aide, Isma’il Omipidan quoted the verdict extensively in a statement on Saturday.

He said, “The Tribunal however held that the forgery case, established against Governor Adeleke, was not enough to disqualify him from contesting the July 16 Governorship election, adding that he had acquired additional qualifications.

“Delivering the majority judgement, the Tribunal led by Justice Tertsea Kume, noted that the petitioners were able to prove forgery case against Governor Adeleke as EC9, which is the affidavit in support of personal particulars about the governor told “a lie about itself.”

Omipidan said, “Interestingly, the only member of Tribunal, Justice B.A. Ogbuli, who gave a dissenting ruling on the Tribunal judgement, aligned with the position of the majority judgement on the issue of disqualification.

“The Tribunal held that “respondent through Mrs. Joan Arabs produced FILE D which was tendered in evidence. The said exhibit FILE D is in respect of the election conducted by the 1st Respondent in 2018.”

“Exhibit EC9, as earlier indicated, is the affidavit in support of the personal particulars of the 2nd Respondent which he presented to the 1st Respondent for the election of 16h day of July, 2022.

“On page 2 of exhibit EC9, the 2nd Respondent (Adeleke), in his handwriting wrote under: (1) School Attended (Educational qualification with dates: Thus: 2. SECONDARY EDE MUSLIM GRAMMAR SCHOOL, EDE – ATTENDED 1976 – 1981, PENN FORSTER HIGH SCH-HIGH SCHOOL DIPLOMA -2021


“On page 4, of exhibit EC9, there is a letter of Attestation from Ede Muslim High School dated 22 day of May, 2016.

“Learned counsel for the Petitioners, as earlier stated, referred to the different names in the schools reproduced above and the evidence admitted by RW2 under cross-examination, that Osun State was created in 1991, and as such, any evidence that a qualifying certificate or document stating that it was from Osun State in 1981 is a forgery.

“Forgery, is defined in Section 464 of the Criminal Code of Osun State (Supra), as follows: 464. A document or writing is said to be false– ‘(a)in the case of a document which is a register or record kept by lawful authority, or an entry in any such register, or which purports to be issued by lawful authority as testifying to the contents of any register or record kept by lawful authority, or as testifying to any fact or event, if any material particular stated in the document is untrue; or “(b) if the whole or some material part of the document or writing purports to be made by or on behalf of some person who did not make it or authorise it to be made, or if, in a case where the time or place of making is material although the document or writing is made by or by the authority of the person by whom it purports to be made, it is with a fraudulent intent falsely dated as to the time or place of making; or (c) if the whole or some material part of the document or writing purports to be made by or on behalf of some person who does not, in fact, exist; or (d) if the document or writing is made in the name of an existing person, either by that person himself or by his authority, with the fraudulent intention that it should pass as being made by some person, real or fictitious, other than the person who makes it or authorise it to be made.’

“The word ‘or’ appearing in the above reproduced section of the Criminal Code (Supra) is a disjunctive connotation. See Section 18(3) of the Interpretation Act, Laws of Nigeria. See also Suswam v. Govt. of Benue State (2018) LPELR-47368 (CA) 1 at 6-15, para A.

“A clear reading of the above reproduced section of the Criminal Code and exhibit EC9 reproduced above reveals that EC9 tells a lie about itself. See ACN vs. Lamido (2011) LPELR-91741 (CA) 1 at 79 80 paras C- A, and 80 81 paras F- A.

“In that regard, forgery of the said documents presented by the 2d Respondent (Ademola Adeleke) to 1 Respondent (INEC) has been proved.


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