Some aspirants who contested in the governorship primary election and other chieftains of the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) in Osun state have rejected the victory of Sen. Ademola Adeleke at the poll.
Adeleke defeated other three contenders to become the candidate of the party for the Sept. 22 governorship election in the state.
Addressing a press conference in Osogbo, six of the eleven governorship aspirants said the primaries election was won by Dr Akin Ogunbiyi, but manipulated in favour of Adeleke.
Sen. Olasunkanmi Akinlabi, an aspirant who spoke on behalf of others, urged the National Working Committee of PDP to upturn the result of the election and declare Ogunbiyi as the PDP candidate.
He urged the NWC to reconsider its stand on the Appeal filed by Ogunbiyi, saying, the primary election was marred with gross violations of the electoral guidelines
“We are making this call as leaders and major stakeholders in the party who are desirous of salvaging the Osun State PDP and rekindling the hope of thousands of our members in all local governments.
“We make bold to say that Senator Adeleke did not, in fact, score the highest number of votes in that primary election, having polled a total number of 1569 as against his major opponent, Dr Akin Ogunbiyi whose actual votes at the point of sorting was 1690.
“Such a brazen disregard for best global practices in electoral processes is certainly unexpected of a party desirous of dislodging a party in government through a free and fair election.
“The most unfortunate aspect, however, was the utter neglect and refusal of the National Working Committee of our party sitting as an appeal committee to redress this clear case of electoral fraud and injustice perpetrated by the Electoral Panel on Saturday,” Akinlabi said.
Another aspirant, Prof. Deolu Durotoye, said Adeleke was not the choice of the majority of delegates, insisting that Adeleke was the least qualified of the 11 aspirants who obtained forms to contest for the election.
He stressed that fielding Adeleke as PDP governorship candidate will put the chances of the party at risk because of the several legal and moral issues which will arise before and during the electioneering campaign.
“The candidacy of Senator Adeleke will further divide rather than unite the PDP in Osun State in view of the fact that a great number of party members will not feel secured working for him because of the very controversial circumstances of his nomination,” Durotoye said.
He added that PDP might not be able to secure the support of critical stakeholders in the state with Sen. Adeleke’s candidacy saying “Adeleke is not too impressive public conduct as a senator”.
Meanwhile, an Osun State High Court in Osogbo, on Thursday, ruled that Sen. Ademola Adeleke has been given the opportunity to present his Secondary School and other certificates of his before the court by Wednesday, Aug. 1, 2018.
Rasheed Olabayo and Oluwaseun Idowu had approached the court, claiming that Adeleke did not possess the requisite qualifications as required by Section 177 (d) of the 1999 Constitution as altered.
They urged the court to set aside the July 21st, 2018 primary election, which produced him as the governorship candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party in the state.
While ruling on the ex-parte application, the court explained that granting the leave to restrain the PDP from presenting Adeleke as its governorship candidate over his inability to present his certificate may subject the court to mockery if the senator, thereafter presents the certificate.
“It will be inequitable not to allow the respondent to come and show his certificate if he has any but if given the opportunity to present his side of the case, the balance which is necessary for an interlocutory injunction would be adequately considered,” Justice David Oladimeji said.
He said the ex-parte injunction has only seven days lifespan and that there are still windows left open till Aug. 8, according to the affidavits sworn to by the applicants.
“Being an election matter, it is my conviction that the public will not be uninterested in the proceedings of this court.”
Justice Oladimeji thereafter adjourned the motion on notice till Wednesday, Aug. 1, 2018, for definite hearing, adding that no form of excuse from the litigants would be tolerated by the court.
From Adeyinka Aremu, Osogbo