The National Working Committee(NWC) of the Peoples Democratic Party(PDP), on Tuesday, said it “vehemently and unequivocally” rejects the inclusion of Justice Joseph Olubunmi Oyewole as a member of the Osun State governorship election appeal panel.
PDP National Publicity Secretary, Mr. Kola Ologbondiyan, stated the position of party at a media briefing in Abuja.
The party stated that Oyewole is an indigene of Osun State and had served as a judge in the Lagos State High Court during the administration of Asiwaju Bola Tinubu.
He said the NWC’s position is predicated on the belief that Oyewole has strong connections with the All Progressives Congress(APC), which is an interested party in the appeal.
Ologbondiyan said the PDP had already petitioned Court of Appeal President, Justice Zainab Bulkachuwa, objecting to the inclusion of Oyewole in the appeal panel based on the presumed likelihood of him being biased against the person of the PDP governorship candidate in Osun state, Senator Ademola Adeleke and the party.
“Our grounds of objection against Justice Oyewole’s membership of the appeal panel are as follow: Oyewole is an indigene of Osun State and he had served as a High Court Judge of Lagos State and had thus served under the administration of Senator Ahmed Bola Tinubu (the National Leader of the APC) while he (Tinubu) was the governor of Lagos State.
“When the seat of the Chief Judge of Osun State became vacant some years back upon the retirement of Hon. Justice G.O. Ojo, Senator Ahmed Bola Tinubu insisted on having his anointed candidate, Oyewole, on the Judiciary of Osun State at all costs.
“It will be recalled that it took the courageous intervention of the then Chief Justice of Nigeria, Justice Aloma Mukhtar, to prevail that the most senior judge in Osun State judiciary should be so appointed,” Ologbondiyan said.
According to him, Oyewole should not sit as a panel member for a governorship election dispute between the PDP and the APC.
“The PDP therefore demands that the President of the Court of Appeal immediately replace Oyewole with another justice of the Court of Appeal, without any affiliation with Osun State, out of the over 90 eminent Justices of the Court of Appeal.
“Our party and candidate hold that justice must not only be done, but also manifestly seen to be done in this matter,” he said.