Yinka Kolawole in Osogbo
Justice Nathaniel Ayo-Emmanuel of Federal High Court in Osogbo, Osun State capital, yesterday, nullified the last October 15 local government elections conducted by the Osun State Independent Electoral Commission (OSIEC).
Meanwhile, the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in Osun has hailed the sacking by a Federal High Court of council chairmen recently elected in violation of electoral laws, saying the party is vindicated by its activism against the illegality of outgoing Oyetola administration.
The justice ruled that the election was held in contravention of Sections 29 and 32 of the Electoral Act, 2022.
The PDP had asked the court to stop OSIEC from conducting the election.
Other respondents in the case were Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), All Progressives Congress (APC), and its then chairman, Adeboyega Famoodun.
Justice Ayo-Nathaniel Emmanuel of Federal High Court Osogbo had declared local government election as illegal, null and void, having not been conducted in consonance with Electoral Act of 2022.
Court orders the LG Chairmen and Councillors of the said elections to vacate local government secretariats and offices with immediate effect.
Reacting to the judgement, the state Caretaker Chairman of the PDP, Dr. Akindele Adekunle, lamented that about N1.5 billion that could have been deployed for workers’ welfare was wasted by the Oyetola’s administration for the conduct of the election in addition to several millions of naira illegally paid as salaries and allowances to fake council chiefs.
“We had warned against holding that fake selection they called election. We had cited all relevant legal authorities to convince OSIEC to back out of the undemocratic scheme. The commission chairman who himself is a lawyer decided to act against clear provisions of the law to supervise this crudely executed lawlessness.
“This judgement is an affirmation of the correctness of many alerts we had issued in recent times. The outgoing governor had deliberately committed a lot of infractions and lawlessness. We will deploy all legal means to correct the anomalies in compliance with public service rules, extant laws and the constitution of the republic,” the party leader stated.
While congratulating PDP members and people of Osun State, the party chairman pledged that the party and its governor-elect will right all the wrongs, protect the public service, observe due process, deliver on local government autonomy and be responsive to citizens’ aspirations.
Meanwhile, the APC has enjoined the political functionaries in the local governments and all the members of the party not to lose sleep over the temporary setback as the ruling party has concluded arrangement to appeal the judgement.
According to the state Deputy Chairman of the APC, Sooko Taju Lawal, in a statement issued by Kola Olabisi, the Media Adviser to the state chapter of the APC, the development was just a temporary setback which would be redressed in an appellate court.
Lawal told the council political functionaries and all the members of the party to continue to embrace peace and shun any manner of provocation that may emanate from the Federal High Court judgement.
He reminded them that under no circumstance must they lose their composure and placidity as adent believers in the rules of law.
Lawal stated that the hallmark of any progressive politician is always the willingness to act in tandem with the rules of law.