• Thursday, June 13, 2024
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Osun guber poll: We’re in court to deepen democratic values – Oyetola’s aide

The paradox of choice

Ismail Omipidan, the chief press secretary to Governor Adegboyega Oyetola of Osun State, has that the governor’s decision to challenge the outcome of the July 16 Osun governorship election should not be seen as an attempt to dispute the integrity of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC).

He noted that Oyetola’s decision should rather be commended as it was aimed at deepening the country’s democratic values and its electoral system.

Speaking to journalists on Sunday, Omipidan, expressed confidence in the ability of the members of the tribunal to do justice in the case before it. He further noted that the outcome would go a long way in making INEC fill some gaps that might have been noticed ahead of the 2023 general elections.

“Our case is not in any way an attempt to impugn the integrity of INEC. That’s not the motivation. It is to further deepen our electoral system and to help INEC correct whatever anomalies or gaps that may have been exposed from the conduct of the Osun Governorship Election ahead of the 2023 elections. Most of the reforms we have today as part of our electoral laws were borne out of the decisions of the court. Our observations may as well be part of the future reforms,” the media aide said.

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Asked if the APC has any case at all, Omipidan said, “Apart from the fact that we are challenging his eligibility to stand for the election in the first instance, having purportedly been awarded a university degree barely 24 days after he acquired an equivalent of an O’level result, we are equally challenging the election results in 749 polling units across 10 local governments.

“It is common knowledge that in 2019, Senator Ademola Adeleke faced criminal allegations of examination malpractice. He was granted bail, and then he travelled abroad and did not return until he came for this election.

“Interestingly, as of 2018, he had no O-level results. But upon his return, he claimed he has a diploma, awarded to him mid-last year and that the said certificate qualified him for a B.Sc. in Criminal Studies or so 24 days after getting the said Diploma certificate.

“Again, recall that after the election, we applied for the BVAS report. INEC availed us of the Certified True Copy (CTC), of the report. We filed our petitions in court. But INEC later issued another CTC to the PDP, claiming that as of the time the first one was issued to us, they had not synchronized the data in the BVAS. The question will now be, “what was the basis of declaring the election results?” Is INEC right to have issued two BVAS reports that do not align? These and many more are some of the issues the Tribunal will be helping us to resolve in the days ahead, and we are very confident in the ability of the Tribunal to deliver justice in the matter.

“On behalf of my principal, Governor Adegboyega Oyetola, I appeal to all APC supporters to remain calm, and resist the temptation to precipitate a crisis by members of the opposition PDP,” Omipidan said.