Youths in Osun State yesterday staged a peaceful protest against the judgment of the Osun State Election Petitions Tribunal sitting in Abuja which pronounced candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Ademola Adeleke, winner of September 22, 2018 governorship election.
The protesters, armed with placards bearing various inscriptions, including “Oyetola remained our Governor”, “We voted for Governor Oyetola”, “We cannot be intimidated”, among others, moved from popular Ayetotoro area through other major roads in Osogbo, the state capital and later converged on Nelson Mandela Freedom Park.
The demonstrators said they would not rest until true justice is done in the final determination of all appellate proceedings.
General Secretary, Osun Concerned Citizens, Mr. Yaya Ademola, who spoke during the protest, said the demonstration became imperative following what they described as lacuna in the panel’s ruling, which declared Adeleke the authentic winner of the gubernatorial contest.
Ademola, who expressed optimism that the Court of Appeal would definitely overturn the judgment given by the tribunal, said Osun electorate had spoken through their votes to elect Governor Gboyega Oyetola.
However, Oyetola has urged the people to keep the peace as they await the final judicial pronouncement on the governorship election.
Meanwhile, a former Governor of the state, Ogbeni Rauf Aregbesola, has described the judgment that nullified the election of Oyetola as very strange and unknown to law.
Aregbesola, in a release by his Media Adviser, Sola Fasure, said the report of the split judgment came to every watcher of political events in the state as a rude shock.
In the piece titled: This Judgment Cannot Stand, Aregbesola said Osun people and the government have the highest regards for the judiciary and would continue to have high regards for the revered institution but regretted to state that the decision of the majority judgement was strange to law and common sense.
He said the majority judgment, as delivered by their Lordship, did not support the cause of electoral justice and may constitute the death knell for a properly conducted election.
Aregbesola said the people rejected the majority judgment and believe that it would not stand scrutiny at the appellate court.
The statement noted also that the majority judgment, which held that the rerun election conducted in seven polling units on September 27, 2018 was illegal, null and void was equally shocking and amounts to a travesty.
He said the government would appeal against the judgement, adding that the judgment would be upturned.
Aregbesola wondered why elections in 17 polling would be annulled when there was no evidence of any act known to render election null and void in an election petition such as over voting, non-accreditation, ballot box stuffing, among others took place.