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OSUN TRIBUNAL: go lo lo lo lo and buga won and the Legal Implications

OSUN TRIBUNAL: “go lo lo lo lo” and “buga won” and the Legal Implications. 

By Keulere Nabil Olarewaju

Litigation in most instances is the end result of elections not only in Nigeria but the world at large. Hardly will there be an election which won’t result to tribunal. The last gubernatorial election held in Osun State on 16th day of July, 2022 was not an exception. After months at the tribunal, the tribunal gave its ruling on the Friday, 27th day of January, 2023. A judgement which sacked the “announced candidate” (Ademola Adeleke) of PDP by INEC favoring the petitioner (Alh. Gboyega Oyetola) of APC.

Towards the tail end of the Lead Judgement delivered by Justice T.A Akume, it reads: “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 of July, 2022. See Kizz Daniel song, “BUGA”.

The phrase “go lo lo lo lo” and “buga won” has generated lots of issues among the citizens. In the light of this argument, the following issues are raised to discuss the subject matter:

1. Whether or not judges are allowed to use words of their choice
2. Whether or not the judge based his reasoning in this clause.
3. Weather or not the phrase can be a ground to nullify the judgement at appeal.

Whether or not judges are allowed to use words of their choice.

Judges are products of the society, they are influenced by the happenings in the society. Their sense of judgement, although not expected to be sentimental nor emotional, should reflect the environment they lived in. However, a judge must be extra careful in reflecting an outrageous statement in his pronouncement.

Meanwhile, Judges are allowed to write their judgement as they so decide. The court in Garuba v. Yahaya (2007) 1SC (Pt. 11) 262 at 289 290 , (2007) ALL FWLR (Pt. 357) 862 at 865 Paras. C – H (SC) held that:

There is no specific style in writing of judgments. Writing a judgment is an art in itself and there are more than one way of going about it. It is possible to have as many variations as there are Judges. What is essential is that all evidence adduced must be considered. It is enough if the judgment shows adequately, perception of facts of the case as disclosed in the evidence, evaluation of the facts, belief or disbelief of the witnesses, and a finding based on the evidence accepted by the court. After all, an appellate court has to decide whether the decision of the trial Judge was right and not whether the reasons were right.


Whether or not the judge based his reasoning in this clause.

It’s trite in law that Judges are allowed in the course of pronouncing judgement make comments which are not part of the law, they are referred to as Obiter Dictum. Obiter not being the judgement or reason of the court do not in any way part of the judgement, it’s literally by the way statement or comment the judge made while delivering judgement but unnecessary to the decision in the case therefore not precedential, although it may be considered persuasive. It only reflects the opinion of the judge which doesn’t embody the resolution of the court. See A.I.G Ltd v. NNPC (2005) 11 NWLR (pt. 937) 563 at 589 per Edoize, JSC

Obiter Dictum cannot be made a subject of an appeal, this is the holding of the Supreme Court in the case of Abacha v. Fawehinmi (2002) 6 NWLR (pt. 660) 228

It’s crystal clear, that the phrase, “go lo lo lo lo” “buga won” wasn’t an issue before the trial court, it’s however an Obiter Dictum therefore, it can’t be a ground for appeal in the appellate court.


Weather or not the phrase can be a ground to nullify the judgement at appeal.

Judges are entitled to adopt or create their own writing style and approach in penning down their decisions. However, there are certain essential and mandatory components which a good judgment must contain. In the case of Adeyeye v. Ajiboye (1987) 3 NWLR (Pt. 61) 432 at 451, The Learned Law Lord, Oputa J.S.C. held that: “The proper approach for any trial court is to first set out the claim or claims, then the pleadings, then the issues arising from those pleadings. Having decided on the issues in dispute, the trial judge will then consider the evidence in proof of each issue; then decide on which side to believe and this has got to be a belief based on the preponderance of credible evidence and the probabilities of the case. After this, the trial judge will then record his logical and consequential findings of fact. It is after such a finding that the trial court can then discuss the applicable law against the background of his findings of facts.”

The Court of Appeal, in the case of ABDULLAHI v. MUTUNCHI PRIDE (NIG) LTD & ORS (2019) LPELR-CA/K/360/2016, held that:

No judgment would be rendered a nullity or set aside, solely on the ground that the judge who wrote the judgment adopted a style which the complaining party regarded as being unfavourable to his/her cause; provided the essential elements of a good judgment are contained in the said written decision. That is, dispassionate consideration and/or evaluation of the evidence led by the parties and its marriage with the current position of the law. The decision of Court would not be rendered a nullity or liable to be set aside or impugned merely because the judge or justice (as the case may be), considered first the case of the defendant or accused person before considering that of the claimant or the prosecution, and vice versa. The most important consideration in respect of a judgment on appeal would be the correctness of the decision reached, in the light of the evidence led by the parties and the current position of the law.

Flowing from the judicial pronouncement supplied above, it’s easily deduced that the phrase “go lo lo lo lo” and “buga won” as used by the judge, although may sound derogatory, but can’t be a ground to nullify the judgement.

Premise on the canvassed argument on the issues raised, it’s manifest that the phrase is not tantamount to the case at hand however, with all due respect to the learned judge, the phrase sounds derogatory and uncalled for by a judex who’s expected to be impartial, just and neutral.

Phrases like that will only lead to chaos and develop partiality in the populace. That’s why the Court of Appeal in EKEH v. AMAECHI & ORS (2008) LPELR-CA/PH/EPT/174/2008 aptly state this:
Sentiment or sympathy commands no place in judicial deliberation. They cannot override the clear provisions of the law or rules; otherwise, the task of the court would be more difficult and less beneficial to the society;

To worst the matter, the judge went ahead to cite the music, this definitely might be argued to have been protected by Copyright Law nonetheless, it passes a wrong message to the legal minds. Just like a judge will say see the case of… the judge, with all due respect, stoops so low to say see BUGA.

Supreme Court had in many instances warned judges from descending on parties defects which has no relationship with the case. See Suberu v. State (2010) LPELR-3120(SC) at page 18

Conclusively, based on the legion of authorities cited, it’s evident that the phrase has no legal effect on the judgement however it’s so unexpected especially because of the nature of the case.

About the Author

Keulere Nabil Olarewaju
LLB, Faculty of Law, ABU Zaria
Jan. 30, 2023


This work is published under the free legal awareness project of Sabi Law Foundation ( funded by the law firm of Bezaleel Chambers International ( The writer was not paid or charged any publishing fee. You too can support the legal awareness projects and programs of Sabi Law Foundation by donating to us. Donate here and get our unique appreciation certificate or memento.


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