‘We will still appeal the judgement’
THE National Assembly Elections Petition Tribunal in Osun State had on Friday, October 9, 2015, upheld the victory of Hon. Yinka Ajayi of All Progressives Congress (APC) representing Ifelodun/Boripe/Odo-Otin Federal Constituency. The three-man tribunal headed by Justice A. G. Kwajaffa dismissed the petition filed by the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) candidate, Barrister Kayode Oduoye, husband of pretty actress, Mosun Filani.
Oduoye had challenged the declaration of Ajayi as winner of the election by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC). The petitioner had alleged that the election was characterized by gross irregularities, but the tribunal declared the petitioner had failed to prove his claim beyond reasonable doubt.
The petition was, however, dismissed for lack of merit. An admitted exhibit as evidence to the claim was also expunged by the judge while delivering the rulings.
However, counsels to the respondents, Wale Alabi, Ibrahim Lawal and Olorunfemi Olalekan reportedly lauded the tribunal for the judgement while Oduoye’s lead counsel, Henry Odunayo insisted he would explore other options within the ambit of the law to ensure his client’s prayer is answered.
However, Oduoye, who remains unruffled by the outcome of the petition still hosted his supporters to a lavish get together the following day Saturday, October 10, 2015, at his Osogbo, Osun residence.
The event, according to an inside source, was to thank and appreciate them for their unflinching support all the time of the struggle. Present at the occasion were Kunle Alao, a commissioner under the administration of former governor of the state, Prince Olagunsoye Oyinlola, Hon. Segun Abija, Hon. Abiola Oloke, Princess Boade Matanmi, Kunle Aderogba, Engineer George Olugbenga and others.
In a statement forwarded to ENCOMIUM Weekly on Saturday, October 10, 2015, Oduoye said he wouldn’t have headed to the tribunal if his opponent, Hon. Ajayi had secured victory in convincing, clear and transparent manner devoid of any form of loophole and anomaly. He added that he would have readily accepted defeat, congratulate him and withdraw to the trenches to get prepared for 2019.
“However, it would be the height of ingratitude and lack of sensitivity to the plight of the good people of our constituency that spared time to queue up and exercise their voting rights if we close our eyes to the evidences of malpractices, falsification of results, recorded cases of violence and other anomalies which are weighty in nature, content and measure.
“Having hear the election umpire shockingly declare the APC candidate the winner of the election, we took the available windows of opportunity and decided to seek redress in the court of law which stands as the only viable avenue and platform for the aggrieved, the oppressed and the politically injured to seek a safe haven and secure justice.
“The development at the tribunal on Friday, October 9, 2015, could be best described as astonishingly shocking and disappointing. The script played was carried out by those carefully and purposefully chosen to do so. And that portends a great danger to our democracy as the status of the judiciary as the avenue for securing justice must not be allowed to show features and traits that would at any rate diminish the trust reposed in the arms of government by the people. It was indeed what could be termed the height of sophistry. It’s no doubt, a ruling that would remain a reference point for questioning in the law class as it was the most bizarre.
“As a law abiding citizen, I would neither give up nor allow my fighting spirit to wane. Our teeming supporters would not also get discouraged or have their spirits and morales dampened. The framers of our constitution and the judicial system certainly envisaged a disappointing scenario such as this and therefore, fashioned out other windows of opportunity to seek redress. We would continue to explore available windows of opportunity to seek redress until we reclaim the mandate freely given to us by the good people of our constituency. Therefore, we want to appeal to our supporters to remain calm, peaceful and law abiding while we pursue the case in an appellate court.”