Nigeria: How Tribunal Judgment Upset Emotions in Osun

26 March 2019

There was wild jubilation in Osun State on Friday after the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP candidate in the last governorship election, Senator Ademola Adeleke was pronounced by the State Election Tribunal as the winner of the election.

It also evoked memories of the late brother of the PDP candidate, Senator Isiaka Adeleke as residents of Ede, the country home of the late politician and his supporters converged on his Ede home to pay tributes and shower accolades on Senator Adeleke.

The jubilant crowd started dancing from the palace of Timi of Ede, Oba Munirudeen Adesola at the heart of the town where other people joined them as they danced through the major roads before ending up at the residence of late Isiaka Adeleke where the event was turned into a carnival of sorts.

Elder sister of Senator Adeleke, Mrs Dupe Adeleke Sanni, who dedicated her brother's victory to their late brother, Isiaka Adeleke, said his spirit will also come alive in his grave with the victory.

While appreciating the judiciary and the people of Osun State on the victory, she said:

"We thank God for bringing back my darling brother's mandate. It is not by our power or might. It is by the grace of God that we are able to get the mandate back. If it had not gone our way, we would still thank God because it is not a do-or-die affair.

"If the APC goes to appeal court, we will go with them and by the grace of God, we will still win.

Also, in Ile-Ife, the cradle of Yoruba land where the PDP Deputy Governorship Candidate, Hon, Albert Adeogun hails from, Adeleke's court victory elicited celebration as party faithful trooped out en-masse to celebrate. They were seen moving in droves to the residences of party leaders to celebrate the victory.

From Ilode to Enuwa, Iremo, Lagere, Mayfair, Iloro, Oka road among others, supporters of PDP were seen jubilating.

Political leaders speak

Mr Wale Ojo, the Ife/Ijesa Senatorial leader, and Mr Rotimi Adeyenuwo, the Ife Central PDP Leader, appreciated God for the victory and commended the judiciary for delivering the judgement without bias.

Adeyenuwo congratulated party members and Senator Adeleke for the victory, and others wished him a successful tenure.

Also, a PDP chieftain in the state, Dr Akin Ogunbiyi in a statement by his press secretary, Ismail Afolabi, stated that the two-to-one split decision by a three-man panel of the Tribunal which handed victory to the PDP and her candidate, Senator Ademola Adeleke was a confirmation that the truth cannot be hidden for life.

The Osun State chapter of the PDP expressed delight at the victory of its governorship candidate.

The Chairman, Soji Adagunodo, in a chat with newsmen in Osogbo, the state capital, said the victory was an act of God.

Adagunodo enthused that he knew from the outset of the party's struggle for the mandate that God Almighty would do justice and had done it.

He dedicated the victory to God Almighty and the people of the state.

"I thank God Almighty for the victory and we dedicate it to Him. It is a victory for the people of the state. It is a victory for all," Adagunodo said, adding that the party was ready for appeal if the APC decided to appeal the case. "It's normal. If they decide to appeal the case, we are ready. We are testing the Nigerian judiciary and we are testing the Nigerian democracy."

APC kicks

However, the APC has rejected the verdict and would appeal the case.

The party's Director of Publicity, Research and Strategy, Mr. Kunle Oyatomi, said in a statement said the tribunal's verdict cannot stand superior legal scrutiny, "therefore we will appeal against it."

Similarly, the State Government in a statement by the Secretary to the government, Mr Wole Oyebamiji assured the people of the state "that justice will prevail at last, and the law enforcement agencies have been instructed to maintain law and order across the state."

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