Tobi Soniyi and Yinka Kolawole in Osogbo
Osun State governor, Mr. Gboyega Oyetola Saturay said he would remain in office pending the determination of his appeal challenging last Friday’s judgment of the election petition tribunal.
Oyetola said his faith in the judiciary remains unshaken despite of the tribunal judgement, which nullified his election on Friday
He made the remarks while inspecting some on-going road and drainage projects in the state capital, Osogbo, enjoining the public to disregard the insinuations that he had been sacked, saying he was confident of retaining his mandate at the appellate court.
He said the outcome of the lower court did not in anyway affect the validity of the votes freely and willing given to him by the people of the state, saying since the constitution allowed him to file an appeal against the judgment, he remained the legitimate governor of the state.
The governor said: “I am confident that our mandate will be reaffirmed at the Court of Appeal and the Supreme Court. As you all know, it was a split judgment, telling us that it was not a unanimous decision. This is part of our strength at the Appellate Court
“I must correct the impression that I have been removed from office I remain the governor of Osun till all the electoral litigations are finalised.
“So, my visit to this site is in furtherance of our commitment to ensure a better life for all residents of the state and to demonstrate that governance brought about by our government continues”, he said.
Oyetola, who had earlier received the leaders and members of the All Progressives Congress (APC) at the Government House had assured the teeming supporters of the party that he would come victorious at the end of the electoral litigation.
He called on the party loyalists to remain calm and expressed confidence in the judiciary to deliver justice as it remained the ‘hope for a common man’
In a state broadcast yesterday in Osogbo, Oyetola explained that in accordance with the dictates of the law, his government remained intact pending the decision of the higher courts.
He said the status quo “remains while the business of governance continues under his watch” and said that he had directed all law enforcement agencies, as a matter of duty, to continue to maintain law and order across the state.
He said, ”I address you this day to inform you that, in response to the judgment of the Osun Governorship Election Tribunal, sitting at the Federal Capital Territory, Abuja, on Friday, we have gone on appeal to challenge the split decision of the Tribunal.
“This split decision notwithstanding, our confidence in the judiciary remains unshaken, which is why we are going back to it for necessary review through the appellate court.
“In accordance with the dictates of law, our government remains intact pending the decision of the higher courts. The status quo remains, and the business of governance continues under my watch.
“I have directed all law enforcement agencies as a matter of duty to continue to maintain law and order across the state.
“I would, therefore, appeal to you all to remain calm and go about your legitimate businesses, while we explore the instruments of the law to reaffirm the mandate that you freely gave to us.
“I thank you for your support all the way and urge you to remain faithful to the kernels that have made our state the land of virtue.”
The tribunal had declared Senator Ademola Adeleke of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) as the winner of the election held in September 28, 2018.
The three-member panel held that the supplementary election that held on September 27, 2018, was illegal. It, therefore, deducted the votes scored by the APC candidate, Oyetola, in the supplementary poll.
The tribunal said Adeleke won the election at the first ballot on September 22, declaring Oyetola is null and void in a majority decision.However, one member of the panel held a contrary view.