BY TIMOTHY AGBOR, OSOGBO
The All Progressives Congress in Osun State and its candidate in the just concluded July 16 governorship election in the state, Governor Gboyega Oyetola have declared that their lawyers had finished studying the results of the poll and would be approaching the Election Petition Tribunal with a petition to challenge the victory of Senator Ademola Adeleke, the candidate of the People’s Democratic Party.
Addressing a press conference on Thursday at the party secretariat in Osogbo, the APC Chairman, Gboyega Famodun said the party and Oyetola have concluded plans to drag the Independent National Electoral Commission, PDP and Adeleke to the Tribunal.
Famodun said the counsels to the party and those of Governor Oyetola have found out that they have a case and would be victorious in court.
He said, “our lawyers have told us that we have a strong case and we believe we will win at the court.”
Meanwhile, the State Election Petition Tribunal on Thursday disclosed that it would be rounding-off on Saturday, which is the end of the 21 days that the law provides for aggrieved governorship candidates that took part in the July 16 election to approach it with their petitions.
When our correspondent visited the Election Tribunal Hall at the premises of Osun State High Court on Thursday at about 3:00pm to make inquiries after APC’s press conference, the Secretary of the Tribunal, David Umar Dike said the panel was yet to receive a petition from any political party or governorship candidate.
Dike said if by Saturday, August 6, 2022, and no petition or complaint was received from any political party or governorship candidate seeking to challenge the victory of the governorship candidate of the People’s Democratic Party, Ademola Adeleke as announced by the Independent National Electoral Commission, then the Tribunal would close business in the state.
According to him, the law provides 21 days from the day the election results were declared (July 17, 2022) for candidates to approach the Tribunal with complaints or petitions.
“Panel was constituted and the Registry opened before the election day. We have not received anything yet for now and they (aggrieved candidates) have 21 days from the day of declaration of results in which to file any grievance they have with the results declared.
“We have not received any petition and parties have till Saturday to approach us. This means that Saturday will make it 21 days that the law stipulates,” Dike informed our correspondent.
However, Famodun, at the press briefing, argued that a caucus of the party loyal to former governor of the state and incumbent Minister of Interior, Rauf Aregbesola, The Osun Progressives was a clog in the wheel of progress of the party and that Aregbesola and his loyalists worked against Oyetola during the last election.
He described the protest for restructuring that some APC members loyal to the minister embarked upon recently as callous and baseless.
“Our position is that the protest was shameful, callous, primitive, selfish, wicked, misplaced and inconsiderate for the Aregbesola supporters who glaringly worked against the success of Governor Oyetola at the polls to now be canvassing restructuring of the party through a sponsored protest.
“By their actions and inactions, it’s on record that the shameless members and leaders of TOP cannot insulate themselves from whatever might be the current plight of the APC in Osun State.
“Assuming without conceding that there are challenges within the party, the protesters and their patron should know that they lack moral right to either suggest or effect any likely solution for the restructuring of our party as it is on record that they massively and collectively worked against Oyetola, the APC governorship candidate in the just-concluded election in line with the series of their threats.
“One would have thought that the appropriate place for Aregbesola and his group to canvas for the restructuring of any party is Senator Ademola Adeleke’s Ede country home whom they voted for with flaunted pride,” he said.