Abuja and Lafia — The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) has rejected the inclusion of Justice J.O.K Oyewole as a member of the Osun State Governorship Election Appeal Tribunal.
Speaking at a media briefing yesterday, its National Publicity Secretary, Kola Ologbondiyan, said, "The party's position is predicated on the fact that Justice Oyewole has strong connections with the All Progressives Congress (APC), which is an interested party in the appeal."
The PDP said it had already petitioned President of the Court of Appeal, objecting to Justice Oyewole's inclusion in the panel
"This is based on the likelihood of his being biased against our candidate, Senator Ademola Adeleke and the PDP, under which he contested the 2018 Osun State gubernatorial election.
"Our grounds of objection to Justice Oyewole's membership of the panel are as follows: Oyewole (JCA) is an indigene of Osun State and had served as High Court Judge of Lagos State under Bola Ahmed Tinubu, a former governor of the state, now National Leader of APC.
"When the seat of Chief Judge of Osun State became vacant some years ago, upon the retirement of Justice G.O. Ojo, Tinubu insisted on having Oyewole on the Osun State Judiciary at all cost," the PDP stated.
It added that it took the intervention of former Chief Justice of Nigeria (CJN), Justice Aloma Murktar, to prevail for the most senior judge of Osun State judiciary to be appointed.
Ologbondiyan added that as a party, the PDP does not have confidence in Oyewole and as such it vehemently objects to his inclusion, as he is likely to be biased against our party and our candidate, Ademola Adeleke.
The PDP, therefore, demands Oyewole's immediate replacement with another justice of the Court of Appeal, without any affiliation with Osun State, out of the over 90 eminent Justices of the Court of Appeal.
Meanwhile, President of the Court of Appeal has constituted two election tribunals to handle election petition cases in Nasarawa State.
Secretary of the National and State Assembly Election Petitions, Bello Mukhtar, who disclosed this yesterday in Lafia, said another panel was constituted because the number of petitions exceeded the limit one penal could handle.
"A panel should handle between one and 20 petitions, but there are 24 petitions before the state tribunal, hence the need for another panel," he added.