The ruling All Progressives Congress, APC, and the main opposition party, the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, have locked horns over a pending appeal court case in Abuja, which was filed by the APC to contest the election tribunal’s verdict of March 22.
DAILY POST reports that the majority ruling of the 3-man election petition panel sitting in Abuja to hear issues surrounding the September 22 and 27 Osun gubernatorial election, and supplementary election respectively declared the candidate of the PDP, Senator Ademola Adeleke the winner of the poll.
The ruling APC, acting on the stipulation of the electoral law and guidelines, therefore, appealed the judgement, asking the appellate court to set aside the ruling of the tribunal.
Meanwhile, the PDP, in a recent statement had alleged that some officials of the APC were boasting of having the judges sitting on the appeal at their ‘pocket’ to do their bidding and decide the case in favour of the party.
The APC, in a swift reaction, therefore, dismissed the allegation as, “a smear campaign’ against the party, which was deliberately designed to blackmail judges of the Court of Appeal.
The party, through a release signed by its Director of Publicity, Research and Strategy, Barrister Kunle Oyatomi and made available to newsmen in Osogbo, the Osun State capital said the statement credited to the main opposition party was total falsehood.
According to the statement, “The PDP is spreading total falsehood that unidentified so-called officials of the APC are boasting in public that they have settled those Judges in Abuja to decide in favour of Gov Adegboyega Oyetola.
“This is not only insidious blackmail of the respectable and honourable Judges, the PDP is also attempting to disparage the integrity of the Judges and instigate public skepticism, perhaps even rejection of the Court’s decision if it turns out not to be in PDP’S favour.
“Osun is moving forward and the APC will remain focused regardless of the shenanigans of the PDP. If that party will not mature politically and contribute meaningfully to the progress of the state, it will sooner than later become irrelevant”.
In his reaction to allegation of blackmailing the judiciary to cause havoc in the state levelled against PDP by the ruling APC, the Chairman of PDP, Hon. Soji Adagunodo, on Monday through a statement described APC as a ‘drowning ‘ party, with the orientation of lawlessness and brigandage.
“It is surprising that a political party that hired touts and protesters against a well-articulated judgement in favour of the mandate freely given to Senator Nurudeen Ademola Adeleke and the PDP by the people of the state could suddenly become friendly and turned to a self-acclaimed defender of the same judicial institution it recently blackmailed and publicly insulted.
“The people of Osun state cannot be carried away by mere propaganda and deliberate falsehood of a DROWNING Political Party, the APC that is aimed at creating confusion in the minds of the people.
“Nigerians know the political party that has penchant for disobedience and disregard for the Rule of Law, the people know how APC gave money to touts and imported jobless Lagosians and many people from other neighbouring states with ridiculous stipends who matched on the streets of Osogbo to demonstrate against the judgment that was widely applauded with wild jubilations across the Nation and Osun State.
“One wonders why the ruling Party limited its then anti-tribunal judgment protest to Osogbo township alone, why didn’t they replicate the demonstration in every local government areas of the state like the spontaneous jubilation that greeted the victory of Senator Nurudeen Ademola Adeleke and the PDP,” Adagunodo inquired.
“This recent allegation against PDP by the APC and their strange interest in defence of the Judiciary is a confirmation of the authenticity of the alleged bribery attempts, because the allegations did not emanate from the officials of our party but from the interested Nigerians people who are following the OSUN STATE GUBERNATORIAL ELECTIONS CASE at the tribunal keenly, however with this action of the APC , it is only confirming that they truly made the move but failed.
“It is also saddening that since the people of Osun State gave their mandate to Senator Nurudeen Ademola Adeleke, the APC has employed different tactics to destroy and smear his image by going to different courts on frivolous allegations and also using the instrument of Government to victimise his person but they will fail in all their attempts”, Adagunodo stressed.
He then called on critical stakeholders in the state, especially the law enforcement agencies to be neutral in all their dealings and never allow to be used for selfish reasons.
The PDP chairman, however, expressed absolute confidence in the judiciary to deliver judgment based on truth, in tandem with available evidence at its disposal.