Oloruntomiloba Olagunju, a lawyer to former Osun State Governor, Gboyega Oyetola, on Tuesday said people are reading too much meaning into the ‘Buga Won’ comment made by the Election Petitions Tribunal.
Last Friday, two out of the three-member panel of the tribunal held that the petitioner was the duly elected governor of the state.
He said the petitioner was able to prove that there was indeed over-voting in some of the polling units.
“The second respondent cannot ‘go lo lo lo lo’ and ‘buga won’ as the duly elected governor of Osun state in the election conducted on the 16th day of July, 2022,” Tetsea Kume, who read the majority decision, said.
The comments have since been greeted with widespread criticism with some saying such attempt at hilarity is not befitting of the judges considering the sensitivity of the matter while others think that the judgement by the Tribunal is biased.
But reacting to the criticisms during an interview on Channels Television’s Politics Today, Olagunju said the phrase was used in passing and was not part of the judgement.
“The statement credited to the judge regarding the buga phrase is what in law we call the obiter dictum. It means statements that are just made in passing,” he said.
“They are not part of the judgement. Without holding forth for the judge, if you look through the entire judgement, you will place where the judge cited Shakespeare. In driving home their point, judges sometimes make statements in passing.
“They are not part of the judgement, they are not appealable. You cannot for example appeal the fact that the judge said buga.”
In its ruling on January 27, the Tribunal annulled the result declared by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), which gave victory in the election to Governor Ademola Adeleke of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP).
The tribunal directed INEC to withdraw the certificate of return issued to Adeleke and his deputy, Kola Adewusi, both of whom had been sworn in.
But Adeleke has vowed to appeal the judgment sacking him as governor of Osun State describing the judgment as “a miscarriage of justice” adding that it is “an unfair interpretation against the will of majority of voters”.
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