APC, PDP react to Appeal Court judgment on Osun Governorship Election

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People Democratic Party, PDP flag. [Photo credit: NAN]

The All Progressives Congress (APC) and the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) have reacted to Thursday’s judgment by the Court of Appeal nullifying the verdict of the election petition tribunal in Osun State.

The Election Petition Tribunal in its March 22 ruling declared Mr Adeleke of the PDP as the winner of the governorship election.

But the appellate court upheld the return of Gboyega Oyetola of the APC by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) as the winner of the election.

The five-member panel of the appellate court led by Jummai Sankey delivered the judgment with three other members of the panel agreeing with the lead judgment.

The INEC had last year declared Mr Oyetola winner after a supplementary poll.

On Thursday, the two political parties, in two separate statements, reacted to the decision of the appellate court.

While the ruling APC expressed excitement over the judgment, the opposition PDP expressed shock and vowed to take the matter before the Supreme Court.

“We received the Appeal Court judgment of the Osun State Election petition of today with a huge shock,” the PDP said in a statement by its Osun State chairman, Soji Adagunodo.

“Considering all the evidence before the lower court and legal points adduced by our legal team at the Appeal Court, we expected victory at the Appeal Court. But that’s the beauty of democracy; you win one, you lose one and it is not over until it is over,” Mr Adagunodo said.

He, however, reiterated the party’s hope in the judiciary.

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“We have hope in the judiciary. That does not mean that once in a while there won’t be some hiccups in the judicial process. It is understandable and expected that all judges are not the same and they don’t think the same and we believe that at the end of the day the Supreme Court will do justice to our case and victory will be ours.

“We enjoin our people to be peaceful, calm resolute and have high hope, in the next two months, by the grace of God, Senator Nurudeen Ademola Adeleke will be declared as the governor of Osun State and by then the swearing-in of the new governor in Osun State will be the next stage.”

However, In a statement by its spokesperson in Osun, Kunle Oyatomi, the APC said: “this judgment has put the records straight much beyond the controversy over last November’s governorship election.

“As far as we are concerned, we have no doubt about the fact that we are the majority party in the state of Osun and the facts on the ground tell the story eloquently.

“How then could we have lost the governorship election? We may not be able to explain what was behind Adeleke’s performance that he came so close in November.

“Although we won, Adeleke’s score sheet was inexplicably abnormal. In contrast to the election four months after, the opposition’s so-called victory would have been a farce.

“We believe it is time to move on and concentrate efforts on the transformation work that started in 2010 and which the people have mandated Gov. Gboyega Oyetola to continue and improve upon,” the APC said.

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