Osun State chapter of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, yesterday said it was seeking for a cancellation of the August 9 governorship election in the state at the Election Petition Tribunal and a re-run, claiming it would establish among others, that figures credited to the All Progressives Party’s, APC candidate, Rauf Aregbesola in the election by the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, were unlawfully obtained.
APC, on the other hand, welcomed PDP’s decision to proceed to the tribunal to seek redress for its perceived irregularity during election in which its candidate, Iyiola Omisore, “suffered a comprehensive defeat”, declaring that it had nothing to worry about.
This came as the Tribunal yesterday granted the motion ex-parte filed by both the state APC and PDP seeking for the release of the election materials used during the voting exercise for examination.
The head of PDP legal team, Mr Sunday Ojo-Williams, who spoke at the PDP’s secretariat, ahead of its official submission of the party’s petition before the Election Petition Tribunal, in Osogbo, said the party would be asking for two prayers before the tribunal.
According to him, “logically, we are praying that those lawful votes cast in favour of the PDP’s candidate should be enough to declare our candidate winner of the August 9 governorship election. We have facts that we are going to present before the tribunal to establish that the figures credited to the APC’s candidate were unlawfully obtained.”
Ojo-Williams said the PDP was also seeking for an alternative, ‘’having regards to series of electoral malpractices, and violation of the electoral act, we are asking the tribunal to look at these allegations with a view to canceling the exercise and a re-run be ordered. We have spent the last 18 days studying the results and the actions and inactions that went into the election before putting together our petition. The electoral act gives us a 21 day frame.
‘’The resolve to challenge the outcome of the Osun governorship election is borne out of a desire to claim what is ours. We wanted to do a thorough job that is why it took us 18 days. We want the tribunal to look into cases of corruption, malpractices, impersonation and chasing of our party agents. We will also want to establish that the much advertised colour coded ballot paper was nowhere used.”
APC welcomes PDP’s move
But the APC said it heartily welcomed the decision by the PDP to proceed to the tribunal.
APC in a statement by its Director of Publicity, Research and Strategy, Mr Kunle Oyatomi, said “this is a pleasant departure from what we know of PDP’s disposition to settling scores through violence, intimidation and terror. Now PDP has embraced a civilised approach to democratic engagement.
“So, as the PDP goes to the Tribunal, a new chapter is being written in Osun’s preference for the rule of law rather than the rule of the jungle, which had characterised PDP’s politics before and shortly after the August 9 election. We in the APC have nothing to worry about because we know that we won the election fair and square.
”Even Professor Attahiru Jega, the INEC Chairman has attested to that in a public statement in which he said that the election “was nearly rigged” apparently by whoever of the losers he did not specify.
“Our confidence is even further boosted by the defection of John Abolarinwa Abidoye, the Osun PDP’s legal adviser to the APC on Tuesday (a day before the PDP filed its case at the Tribunal). He knows the facts because he participated in the election as a PDP agent. That is why he could say factually that, “the people of Osun truly voted for Aregbesola. Across the state, they spoke loud and clear.”
Tribunal grants leave to examine election materials
Meanwhile, Election Petition Tribunal yesterday granted the motion ex-parte filed by both the State All Progressives Congress APC and the Peoples Democratic Party PDP seeking for the release of the election materials used during the election for examination.
The Tribunal headed by Justice I. M. Bako during its maiden sitting at the Osun State High Court in Osogbo, granted the applications seeking for the election materials in the custody of the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, for inspection.