Osun State Governorship Election: PDP Rejects Tribunal Ruling, Calls for Investigation and Electoral Reform
In a dramatic turn of events, the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) has rejected the ruling of the Osun State election petition tribunal, which nullified the victory of Governor Ademola Adeleke in the July 16, 2022, governorship election in the state. The decision, which was handed down by a three-man panel headed by Justice Tetsea Kume, declared former governor Gboyega Oyetola as the winner of the election.
According to the tribunal, the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) failed to comply with the provisions of the Electoral Act of 2022 and the 1999 Constitution during the election. The panel deducted the over-voting observed from the figure recorded by Adeleke and Oyetola and declared that the latter won the election, having polled 314,921 votes, while Adeleke’s score came down to 290,266.
This outcome is a significant departure from the results announced by INEC on July 17, 2022, when Adeleke was declared the winner of the election after he polled 403,371 votes, while the former governor garnered 375,027 votes.
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In a statement issued by its National Publicity Secretary, Debo Ologunagba, the PDP noted that the tribunal’s ruling was at variance with the will of the people of the state. The statement read, “The July 16, 2022 governorship election in Osun State was adjudged by local and international observers to be free, fair, transparent, and clearly won by the PDP and our candidate, Governor Ademola Adeleke, in confirmation of the wishes and aspirations of the people. The will of the people of Osun State as expressed by electing Governor Adeleke must be respected. As a law-abiding party, the PDP will explore all available legal means to restore the victory of our party.”
Adeleke, for his part, has described the tribunal’s ruling as a miscarriage of justice and vowed to challenge it at the Court of Appeal. The Governor’s supporters have also taken to the streets to protest the decision, calling for the respect of the people’s will.
This ruling has sparked a political firestorm in the state, with many questioning the integrity of the electoral process and calling for a re-run of the election. The PDP has vowed to explore all legal avenues to overturn the ruling, while the APC has defended the decision, stating that it was based on the evidence presented to the tribunal.
The situation in Osun State is tense as both sides gear up for a legal battle that is likely to have far-reaching implications for the state’s political landscape. The PDP has urged its supporters to remain calm and peaceful, while the APC has called on its supporters to respect the ruling of the tribunal.
The outcome of this ruling has also raised concerns about the integrity of the electoral process in Nigeria, with many calling for a review of the electoral laws and the strengthening of the INEC to ensure free and fair elections in the future. The PDP has also called for a probe into the conduct of the Osun State governorship election, stating that the party has evidence of electoral malpractice and misconduct.
The ruling of the Osun State election petition tribunal has sparked a political crisis in the state and raised serious questions about the integrity of the electoral process in Nigeria. The PDP has rejected the ruling and vowed to explore all legal avenues to restore the victory of its candidate. In contrast, the APC has defended the decision, stating that it was based on the evidence presented to the tribunal. The situation in Osun State is tense, and the outcome of this legal battle is likely to have far-reaching implications for the state’s political landscape.