Monday’s Appeal Court judgement is stirring controversy between the All Progressives Congress (APC) and the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in Oyo State.
The Court of Appeal sitting in Ibadan had set aside the tribunal judgement that dismissed the petition brought to the court by APC governorship candidate, Adebayo Adelabu against Seyi Makinde of the PDP.
The tribunal had in September dismissed Adelabu’s petition challenging the election of Seyi Makinde as the Governor of Oyo State. But the Appeal Court on Monday, ruled that the tribunal’s judgement was perverse and therefore set the judgement aside.
While the APC interprets the court’s judgement as a validation of their claim that Makinde’s declaration as winner of the March 9 poll was done by INEC in error, PDP says the verdict did not invalidate Makinde’s election victory.
APC in a statement signed by its Assistant Publicity Secretary, Ayobami Adejumo, lauded the appellate court’s judges for their pronouncement, which validated the claims of the plaintiffs in the matter before it.
“The verdict given on Monday was unambiguous, apt and sound enough to convince any informed mind about the genuineness of our claim that Makinde’s declaration as the winner of the March 9 poll was done by INEC in error. The results announced were ridiculously inflated and there is no way such conspiracy could stand the test of proper scrutiny as this was just confirmed by the Appellate Court.
“While we use this opportunity to salute the court for living up to its responsibility as the last hope of the common man, we are appealing to the good people of the state including Oyo APC faithful and other key stakeholders to remain calm and resist from being provoked by the PDP government and its agents who are apparently occupying the Agodi Government House on a borrowed time.
“Obviously, the next line of action is for us as a Party and our gubernatorial hopeful to approach the Supreme Court for perfection of the landmark verdict delivered by the Court of Appeal today and, by the special Grace of God, we shall obtain favorable judgment from the Apex Court as only this would lend credence to the fact Nigeria’s democratic practice is premised on free and fair elections as well as the rule of law”.
But Publicity Secretary of PDP, Akeem Olatunji, in his own statement, added that going by the judgment, Makinde remained the governor of the state.
“Going by the judgment of the Appeal Court, Seyi Makinde remains the Governor of Oyo State as PDP got her mandate through the March 9th election of which the Judges could not fault its fairness and the party is happy that the tribunal upheld the election in her ruling.
“Governor Seyi Makinde as the candidate of PDP polled 515,621 votes as against 357,982 votes scored by the APC candidate, Bayo Adelabu, with a wide margin of over 150,000 votes to defeat the APC candidate. Such a landslide freely given by the Oyo State electorates and the entire masses is beyond manipulation or abracadabra.
“Governor Seyi Makinde did not get his mandate through the lower Election Petition Tribunal but in a free and fair election conducted by INEC, hence the mandate is intact and it should be noted that Agodi government house is not vacant for whatever reason until 2023 when INEC will be lifting bans on political aspiration.
“We are not in crisis, the Governor is unruffled and our great party, PDP, view the whole drama as a charade of absurdity.
“If APC felt aggrieved, they are free to continue litigation while we at PDP continues with good governance”.
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