Osun “Buga” Tribunal Judgement: Don’t set Osun on fire, activist warns INEC
Following the recent controversy surrounding the Tribunal’s judgement on the July 16, 2022, Osun State governorship election and the statement on overvoting credited to the State Resident Electoral Commissioner (REC), Dr. Mutiu Olalekan Agboke, and the subsequent debunking of the statement by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC),
A human rights activist, Comrade Adeniyi Alimi Sulaiman, has warned the electoral body led by Professor Mahmood Yakubu not to set the peaceful Osun State on fire with actions and inactions of its officials, saying the problem created by the Commission in the state with the provision of two (2) different results from the Bimordal Voter Accreditation System (BVAS) given to the two major contending political parties, the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and the All Progressive Congress (APC) in the said election is still living with the BVAS.
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Although the electoral body (INEC) claimed that the BVAS results given to the candidate of the All Progressive Congress (APC), Mr. Gboyega Oyetola, were not completed before they were released to his lawyers, the electoral body failed to withdraw the uncompleted BVAS report given to APC before it was tendered as the “original BVAS report” at the sitting of the 2022 Osun State Election Petition Tribunal in Osogbo, the state capital.
Comrade Sulaiman, who is the Executive Chairman, Centre for Human Rights and Social Justice (CHRSJ), noted that the inconsistency on the part of the electoral umpire in releasing the fake Certified True Copy (CTC) of the BVAS result to the APC, which was relied upon by the Tribunal, led to the miscarriage of justice by the acclaimed majority judgement of the Election Petition Tribunal, indicating that with the way and manner in which the Tribunal gave out its judgement, there was no majority and no minority judgement on the petition before it.
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The rights activist advised the Commission to approach the Appellate Court on the controversial Osun Tribunal Judgement without wasting much of its time to inform the Appeal Court that the Tribunal gave its judgement on the fake BVAS result given to the APC by fifth columnist officials of the Commission and, by extension, pleading with the Appellate Court to right the wrong done to the winner of the said governorship election, Governor Ademola Jackson Nurudeen Adeleke, by the Tribunal.
According to the statement signed by the CHRSJ’s Executive Chairman, Comrade Sulaiman, and copies made available to newsmen on Sunday, he maintained that approaching the Appellate Court on the subject matter by the electoral body within the time frame of the law was very important in order to save the credibility of the BVAS device for the conduct of the forthcoming 2023 general election slated to hold on February 25th, 2023, and March 11th, 2023.
He further raised concerns on the different comments credited to both former and current officials of the Commission in the media on the credibility of the BVAS machine in respect of the Osun State Governorship election, urging the Commission’s Chairman, Professor Yakubu, to caution its officials on the subject matter in order not to set Osun State or Nigeria on fire ahead of the 2023 general election.
Speaking on the recent debunked statement credited to Osun REC, Dr. Agboke, on the BVAS reports tendered by Osun APC Governorship candidate, Mr. Oyetola, before the Tribunal, Sulaiman disclosed that the current Osun REC was doing the bidding of Mr. Oyetola because he (Agboke) was the nominee of Senator Ibikunle Amosun in his first term of office and now the nominee of the All Progressive Congress (APC), Senator Bola Ahmed Tinu
The group described the action of the Commission on the subject matter as inconsequential, biassed, dishonest, and doubtful of political neutrality, and if not checked, might set the country on fire with political intergrenum, adding that the official of the Commission who released the BVAS result to former Governor Oyetola had breached the oath of neutrality engendered in the Commission’s guidelines.
Sulaiman, who doubles as the convener of the Save Lagos Group (SLG), therefore enjoined the Commission to ensure punitive measures for the officials that released the controversial reports that led to the infractions in the reports of the BVAS device before the Tribunal, because the reports had caused serious stigma for the electoral body, which makes Nigerians doubt its integrity in the conduct of the forthcoming 2023 general election.