Posted by News Express | 23 March 2019 | 1,054 times
A non-governmental organisation, the Human Rights Writers Association of Nigeria (HURIWA), and Delta State Governor, Senator Dr Ifeanyi Okowa, have applauded the Osun State Governorship Election Petition Tribunal for restoring faith in the judiciary as the last hope of the common man by returning the candidate of the opposition Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Senator Ademola Adeleke, as winner of the September 27, 2018 poll in the state.
HURIWA in a statement on Friday evening stated that “the current administration has carried out systematic attacks against the judiciary using all sorts of backhand tactics and illegally deploying the Department of State Services (DSS); the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC); and lately the Code of Conduct Tribunal, presided over by the allegedly compromised Chairman who illegally granted an ex parte order that unconstitutionally unseated the Chief justice of Nigeria, Justice Walter Onnoghen, all in attempts to cow the judges and get them to always give choreographed verdicts in favour of the party in power at the centre.”
The rights group said the judgment by the election tribunal “is reassuringly bold and is in compliance with rule of law.”
HURIWA in a statement issued in Abuja and signed by the National Co-ordinator, Comrade Emmanuel Onwubiko, recalled that the Osun State Governorship Election Tribunal had earlier declared Ademola Adeleke of the PDP as the winner of the controversial state election just as the tribunal also declared the September 27 rerun election in the state illegal.
The group recalled that the three-man panel of the tribunal gave the judgment on Friday following the petition filed by the governorship candidate of the PDP, Senator Adeleke against the All Progressives Congress (APC) and its candidate, Gboyega Oyetola.
Besides, HURIWA recalled that the tribunal also ruled that PDP and Adeleke proved that it was the state Returning Officer who cancelled the results in seven polling units, adding that the petitioners also proved that the Returning Officer has no power to cancel election results of a polling unit.
The tribunal also deducted 2,029 votes from APC scores and 1,246 votes from PDP votes in 17 polling units where there was noncompliance.
HURIWA recalled that delivering the judgment, the panel had a split decision. While two members (majority judgment) ruled in favour of PDP and Ademola; the chairman, Justice Ibrahim Sirajo (minority judgment), ruled in favour of APC and Oyetola.
HURIWA demanded that “the rightful winner of the Osun State governorship poll as declared by the tribunal be sworn in immediately and the impostor be dethroned to halt further perpetuation of illegality since he is occupying the office of governor of Osun State fraudulently.”
Meanwhile, in Asaba, Governor Okowa congratulated Senator Adeleke, describing his victory at the tribunal as “triumph over anti-democratic forces”.
Governor Okowa in a statement by his Chief Press Secretary, Mr. Charles Aniagwu, lauded the judiciary for once again coming to the rescue, stressing that the people of Osun did not make any mistake in voting for the PDP because of the party’s legacy of infrastructure and human capital development
While commending the judiciary for upholding the sanctity of the people's mandate, he thanked Osun people for their support to the PDP and Senator Adeleke.
“On behalf of the government and people of Delta State, I congratulate our party the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and our candidate, Senator Ademola Adeleke, on our hard-earned victory at the elections tribunal today. Osun State, her friends and neighbours waited with bated breath for this favourable judgment,” Okowa said.
He added: “The Tribunal’s affirmation of your election is a fulfilment of the clearly expressed wish of the people of your dear state.
“The judgement of the tribunal, in this case, is a victory for our democracy and a reaffirmation of the divine mandate freely given to you and the PDP by the people of Osun State and commended the Tribunal for ensuring the sanctity of the people’s mandate.”
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