- Security beefed up in strategic locations as tension mounts
Various political camps in the Peoples Democratic Party and All Progressives Congress in Osun State have turned to God in prayers as the Supreme Court delivers judgment today in an appeal filed by Adegboyega Oyetola against a judgment of the Appeal Court, which upheld the election of Ademola Adeleke as the state governor.
The party loyalists appeared uncertain and skeptical as to where the pendulum would swing.
However, they have sought divine intervention for their respective principals.
Before now, APC members in the state had embarked on a series of fasting and prayer for Oyetola’s victory.
Even though the leadership of the PDP did not officially direct its members to supplicate through fasting, the members and supporters of the ruling party have been praying to God to give Adeleke victory at the apex court.
Other supporters of the political parties and concerned residents of the state were also in an uncertain mood over the person that would carry the day even as tension continues to build up within the camps of concerned stakeholders in the state.
Checks by The Point showed that security has been beefed up in strategic locations, especially in Osogbo, the state capital, in order to quell any attempt to cause a crisis after the judgment is delivered.
To ensure the victory of Governor Adeleke at the apex court, the Hausa community in Ifon-Osun, Osun State, on Sunday, held a special prayer for the state governor.
Speaking shortly after the prayer held at the Hausa Community Central Mosque, the Sarkin Hausawa of Ifon-Orolu, Sulaiman Sabo, said the heads of Hausa community were not politicians but one of their duties was to support the government of the day in prayer for the continued smooth running of governance in the state.
“We gathered to pray for our governor, Senator Ademola Nurudeen Adeleke, for the court case he has at the Supreme Court. We prayed to Allah to let him come out victorious at court,” he said.
Also speaking at the event, the Chairman of the PDP, Hausa community in the state, Ado Garba, urged the people to remain calm and believe that Governor Adeleke would not be sacked by the Supreme Court.
The Deputy State Youth Leader of the PDP, Lukman Akintunde Lukaz further expressed the belief that Adeleke would be victorious, “in order to continue giving Osun people dividends of democracy as he has started in Osun State.”
A few days ago, an unidentified man was seen taking a bath in broad daylight at the front of Osun APC secretariat. The development caused confusion in the state as APC and PDP accused each other of taking the Supreme Court matter to a fetish dimension.
Meanwhile, after taking arguments from parties involved in the matter on Monday, the apex court announced that it would sit and deliver its final verdict today at 2pm.
Recall that the incumbent Governor, Adeleke, stood for the poll on the platform of the PDP, while the immediate past governor of the state, Oyetola, was the APC governorship candidate.
However, while Oyetola is the appellant in the Supreme Court matter, having lost at the Court of Appeal, Adeleke is the major respondent who won the Court of Appeal decision.
The Court of Appeal sitting in Abuja had on Friday, March 24, vacated the tribunal judgment that nullified the election of Governor Ademola Adeleke.
The appellate court, in a unanimous decision by a three-member panel of Justices, held that the appeal that Adeleke lodged to challenge his sack by the Osun State Governorship Election Petition Tribunal was meritorious.
Aside from setting aside the judgment of the tribunal, the court, in its lead judgment that was delivered by Justice Mohammed Lawal, awarded N500,000 costs against the APC and its candidate, Oyetola.
Justice John Iyang Okoro is leading the five-member panel of the Supreme Court. Other members of the panel are: Justices M. Lawal Garba, Tijjani Abubakar, Adamu Ojauro and Akomaye Agim.
A Senior Advocate of Nigeria, Lateef Fagbemi is leading the legal team for Oyetola, while Oyeachi Ikpeazu is leading the legal team for Adeleke.
While Alex Iziyon appeared for the PDP, the Independent National Electoral Commission was represented by Paul Ananaba.
However, INEC counsel did not file any process in the appeal being decided, following the decision of the court and that of the counsel to consolidate all the appeal into one.