The All Progressives Congress (APC) in Osun State has alleged that the protests against the judgement of the Election Petition Tribunal that sacked the state governor, Senator Ademola Adeleke, were sponsored.
The APC acting chairman in the state, Mr. Tajudeen Lawal, in a statement on Sunday said the protests allegedly being sponsored by Adeleke and his party, the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), could worsen their case, instead of adding positive value to it at the Appeal Court.
The immediate past governor of the state, Gboyega Oyetola, and the APC had challenged Adeleke’s victory at the July 16, 2022 governorship election at the tribunal.
Delivering judgement on Friday, two out of the three-member panel of the tribunal held that Oyetola was able to prove that there was over-voting in some of the polling units.
The chairman of the tribunal, Tetsea Kume, who read the majority decision, held that INEC did not comply substantially with the constitution and the provisions of the Electoral Act and subsequently sacked Adeleke as governor.
On Saturday, there were protests in Osogbo, the state capital by PDP supporters, who faulted the judgement.
Many business owners in the city did not open for fear of being attacked by hoodlums amid the unrest.The protesters marched through Osogbo, chanting songs denouncing the nullification of the governor’s election.
However, Lawal expressed concern that the PDP chose the option of attacking the judiciary simply because the tribunal judgement did not go its way.
“I must expressly state here that it is still within the purview of your fundamental human right to approach the Court of Appeal for redress instead of sponsoring violent protests in some towns across the state.
“Based on Friday’s tribunal judgement, it is absolutely illegal for Adeleke to be talking about any mandate as the authentic election results of the July 16, 2022 governorship election expressly shown that the PDP candidate has no mandate to flaunt talkless of claiming any.
“It should be known that the incidence of over-voting, basis upon which Adeleke was purportedly declared the winner by the INEC as established by the tribunal, is nothing but unfair play which if left unturned is capable of setting a very bad precedent for our democracy.
“No matter the magnitude of Adeleke’s sponsored protests and vilification and denigration of the judiciary, his current status as a sacked governor has the stamp of the law of the land.
“The Adeleke sponsored protests were without any effect as there is no nexus between justice and sentiment because the law will always take its cause without the heavens coming down,” Lawal said.
Reacting, the PDP acting chairman, Dr Akindele Adekunle, said the protests indicated that the people rejected the verdict of the panel.
“The demonstration of support for Governor Adeleke was spontaneous and a direct revolt against attempt to steal a popular mandate. Our people trooped out and said no to that Kangaroo judgment.
“Nobody celebrated the evil ruling. Across towns and villages, Osun people voluntarily rejected a bunch of electoral armed robbers.
“So we expect APC to be angry. They are unhappy because they lacked popular support,” Adekunle said.