By Uche Mbah
The Osun state chapter of the All Progressives Congress, APC, has described the Peoples Democratic party, PDP victory at the Tribunal as “temporary”, insisting that the victory cannot stand legal scrutiny. They have headed to the Appeal Court to overturn the verdict. The governor, Gboyega Adetola, had earlier sued for calm, saying the verdict will be challenged at the Appeal Court.
A three man panel of the Election Tribunal sitting in Abuja had ruled that the PDP candidate, Ademola Adeleke, won the governorship election. The panel had to relocate to Abuja due to fears of violence erupting at the tribunal venue. Counsels for the PDP cited threat to lives as reason for requesting change of venue.
According to the three man panel, the PDP candidate won the election during the first ballot, describing as illegal the rerun that gave APC victory. The leading tribunal Judge, however, gave a minority judgement.
If the APC goes to appeal, it will be the last stop, since election petitions for governorship are meant to end at Appeal Court. But it has become commonplace for governorship elections to be dragged all the way to the Supreme Court due to some technicalities.
Dr. Onyechi I kpeazu, SAN, headed the Adeleke legal counsel. He was the same Counsel that won the case for Peter Obi against Ngige in Anambra state, thereby making him the first lawyer to send a sitting governor packing.
Reacting to the victory, the presidential candidate of the PDP, Atiku Abubakar, hailed the judgement, saying that it shows that the Judiciary is “the defender of democracy”.
Besides going to Appeal Court, the APC is mulling the contingency plan of removing Adeleke through impeachment if they fail at Appeal Court. As it stands, the sate house of Assembly is dominated by APC, with only two members belonging to PDP.
Since he took over power, Oyetola had refused to appoint commissioners citing heavy financial burden of the state. His Uncle, Bola Tinubu, a leader of the APC, has not commented on the victory of PDP yet.