Osun Tribunal Verdict: Group stages peaceful protest in Osogbo

Segun Adegoke, Osogbo


Some citizens of Osun state, under the aegis of Osun Concerned Citizens, Wednesday, stormed major streets of Osogbo, to protest the verdict of Osun Governorship Election Petitions Tribunal, which declared Senator Ademola Adeleke of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) winner of last year’s governorship election in the state.

The throng of protesters, mainly youths, were seen carrying placards with various inscriptions like: “We Voted Oyetola”, “Oyetola Remains Governor of Osun”, “Oyetola is the People’s Choice” and “Osun Says No to Fraudulent Judgement” among others.

According to a Press Release made available to the media, Yaya Ademola, the group’s General Secretary, said it became imperative for the group to bare their mind on the verdict of the Tribunal, because it went against the will of the overwhelming majority of the people of Osun.

“Our rejection of the said verdict is borne out of the clear fact that it is a thinly disguised attempt at clothing the product of a black-market judicial heist with the garb of legality in the hope that it may acquire legitimacy”.

Reiterating their belief in the competence and capacity of Governor Oyetola to steer the ship of the state to the harbour of greater development, they chanted songs that reflected their aspirations and marched peacefully, stopping at major junctions.

Ademola said the decision of the group to step out in protest was not a partisan disavowal of an unfavourable judgement against the people’s choice, but a fight against the basis of a judgement which, according to him was unjust.

“Notwithstanding the fact that a proper legal response to this unjust verdict has been entered at the Court of Appeal, we hasten to say that the basis with which the majority judgement was made is strange and baseless.  In the first instance, the claim of the majority judgement to declare that the 29/09/2018 rerun illegal, on the basis that only PO and not RO could cancel result in the 7 Polling Units across 3 Local Governments in the rerun does not arise. Neither the PO nor RO cancelled elections in the affected areas. Elections didn’t take place. Where it did, it was disrupted with ballot boxes snatched and carted away with no returns”.

The group further alleges that the judgement was not in strict compliance with the provisions of the Electoral Act, therefore tilting the judgement in favour of the PDP and suppressing the will of people of Osun.

“We are concerned and indeed alarmed that rather than adjudicate in accordance with the applicable provisions of the Electoral Act that emphasises Substantial Compliance or lack of it or want of it as the basis for proving the validity or otherwise of the election of a candidate, the majority decision of the Tribunal  arbitrarily pitched its tent with the formal irregularity of the failure of INEC to fill certain columns of the Result Sheets even when they do not affect the number of votes scored by candidates! This amounts to a disingenuous working to a predetermined answer”.

The group said it would not rest until justice was done and the will of the people prevailed.