Governor Gboyega Oyetola of Osun State, still reeling from electoral defeat, on Friday asked the Election Petition Tribunal in Osogbo to nullify the election of the governorship candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party, Ademola Adeleke.
According to the governor, the election was fraught with several irregularities.
The governor also insisted that Adeleke ought not to have been declared winner as he was not qualified to have contested the election in the first place, having allegedly submitted forged certificate to the Independent National Electoral Commission.
Adeleke had defeated Oyetola, and 13 other candidates, scoring a total of 403,371 in the July election.
Oyetola got 375,027 votes and won in 13 Local Government Areas of the state to come second in the election.
A member of Oyetola’s legal team, Kunle Adegoke (SAN), in an interview with PUNCH immediately after filing the petition in Osogbo said the governor had assembled 50 lawyers including 10 Senior Advocates of Nigeria, listing 13 grounds on which premises Adeleke should be disqualified.
Adegoke said, “We have nothing less than 50 lawyers, including 10 SANs that we cannot list all of them, so we have listed about 20 lawyers in the petition. We have 13 reliefs. What we are contesting is that the election is fraught with certain irregularities by which the person declared winner ought not to have been declared and the petitioner, Alhaji Gboyega Oyetola ought to have been declared the winner on the ground that Ademola Adeleke was not qualified to have contested the election in the first place, having submitted forged certificate to INEC.
“The second is that the election in 749 polling units was fraught with irregularities and the election in those units ought to have been nullified. All the polling units mentioned are in 10 Local Governments, out of 30.
“So, if the election in those units is nullified and the votes are cancelled, then Alhaji Isiaka Gboyega Oyetola will have comfortable requirements of the constitution to be declared winner of the election.”
Asked when the tribunal would commence sitting, Adegoke said he did not know.
“We don’t know yet but now that we have filed, it is expected that once the PDP is served, their lawyers will file their own defence then we will file a reply to their defence. That is when the tribunal will be able to give a date.
“Except if either of the two parties have an application that requires urgency, only then can the Tribunal have an emergency sitting but as of now nobody knows the date”, he said.
When contacted for reaction, the Chairman, Media Management Team of Osun PDP, Prince Diran Odeyemi, said the party was not losing sleep over the petition.
According to him, many of APC leaders that were saying that the result of the election should be challenged before the tribunal, lost election in their wards, saying APC should have adopted the spirit of sportsmanship regarding the result of the poll.