..Expresses confidence in judiciary for fair judgement
.Our petition aimed at improving electoral system not demeaning INEC– Oyetola’s Spokesperson
Blessing Akorowosi, Osogbo
Osun State Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) has called for the sanction of Governor Adegboyega Oyetola and the All Progressives Congress (APC) over their request to relocate the tribunal sitting from Osogbo to Abuja.
The petitioners had earlier written to the Court of Appeal in Abuja for a relocation of the Election tribunal citing insecurity as a major reason but was turned down.
In a statement by the PDP caretaker chairman in the state, Dr Adekunle Akindele on Sunday, the judiciary was commended for disapproving the request.
“We first of all commend the judiciary for rejecting the relocation petition as there was no justifiable reasons for such request. Osun is not only peaceful but the few cases of insecurity were mostly engineered by the state government in its despairing agenda to scuttle peoples’ will.
“We are therefore elated that the judicial leadership saw through the plot and adopted the position of security agencies that Osun is secured enough to host the sitting of the Tribunal.
“We must hasten to add that our objection to the relocation request was premised on the critical need to protect the integrity and safety of BVAS machines and other materials used during the elections.
“As the machines are likely to be central to the determination of the petition, keeping them safe here in Osun rather than exposing them to tampering and hacking on transit, is our official position,” the statement read.
The PDP urged Governor Oyetola and APC to demonstrate integrity as the tribunal begins sitting fully on Monday.
“Osun people have spoken, their votes are resounding and their Governor-elect is Senator Ademola Adeleke. We have deep confidence that our Lords Justices will surely deliver fair and equitable trial without fear or favour,” Akindele concluded.
Meanwhile ,The Chief Press Secretary to Governor Adegboyega Oyetola of Osun, Ismail Omipidan has reacted that their petition at the Election Tribunal should not be seen as an attempt to impugn on the integrity of the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC.
Omipidan stated that Oyetola’s decision to challenge the outcome of the July 16 Osun Governorship poll should rather be commended as it was aimed at deepening the country’s democratic values and its electoral system.
Speaking with journalists on Sunday, he expressed confidence in the ability of the members of the Tribunal to do justice in the case before it.
The Governor’s Spokesperson pointed out that the outcome would go a long way in making INEC fill some gaps that might have been noticed ahead of the 2023 General Elections.
“Make no mistake, our case is not in any way an attempt to impugn on the integrity of INEC. That’s not the motivation. It is to further help deepen our electoral system and to help INEC correct whatever anomalies or gaps that may have been exposed from the conduct of the Osun Governorship Election ahead of 2023 elections.
“Most of the reforms we have today as part of our electoral laws were borne out of the decisions of the court. Our observations may as well be part of the future reforms,” the governor’s Chief Press Secretary added.
Asked if the APC has any case at all, Omipidan said, “Apart from the fact that we are challenging his eligibility to stand for the election in the first instance, having purportedly been awarded a university degree barely 24 days after he acquired an equivalent of an O’level result, we are equally challenging the election results in 749 polling units across 10 Local Governments.
“It is common knowledge that in 2019, Senator Ademola Adeleke faced criminal allegations of examination malpractice. He was granted bail, and then he travelled abroad and did not return until he came for this election.
“Interestingly, as at 2018, he had no O-level results. But upon his return, he claimed he has a diploma, awarded to him mid last year and that the said certificate qualified him for a B.Sc in Criminal Studies or so 24 days after getting the said Diploma certificate.
“Again, recall that after the election, we applied for the BVAS report. INEC availed us the Certified True Copy, CTC, of the report. We filed our petitions in court. But INEC later issued another CTC to the PDP, claiming that as at the time the first one was issued to us, they had not syncronised the data in the BVAS. The question will now be, “what was the basis of declaring the election results?” Is INEC right to have issued two BVAS reports that do not align? These and many more are some of the issues the Tribunal will be helping us to resolve in the days ahead, and we are very confident in the ability of the Tribunal to deliver justice in the matter.
“On behalf of my Principal, the Governor of Osun, Adegboyega Oyetola, I appeal to all APC supporters to remain calm, and resist the temptation to precipitate crisis by members of the opposition PDP,” Omipidan said.