Why APC May Not Lose Osun State Governorship Election To PDP?

By Nwangwu Uba

Until  April 25, 2019, not much was heard about the involvement of the  police in the investigation of Ademola Adeleke, a senator of the Federal Republic of Nigeria and People’s Democratic Party, PDP, governorship Candidate in Osun  state, south west geo-political region.  Adeleke had contested against Gboyega Oyetola,  described as a relation of Ahmed Bola Tinubu,  a former governor of Lagos state and national leader of APC , in the September 2018, governorship election in the state.

The Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, had declared Oyetola, the APC, Candidate, the winner, which Adeleke, the PDP, Candidate , did not find funny, insisting that he  election was manipulated by the Commission and the security agencies, particular the police, to rob him of him of victory. He had dragged the matter to the  state Election petition Tribunal  which had reversed the Electoral Umpire  result, by  declaring him as the real winner based on the documentary evidence before i on March 22, 2019.

The Tribunal ruling may have forced Oyetola and the APC leadership to go back to the drawing to decide on the next line of action to ensure that that  Senator Adeleke, the PDP, Candidate, would not  be sworn in as the governor of the state by the state Chief Judge . The APC  Candidate   had no option but to appeal against the Tribunal Judgment. The APC , Candidate had pleaded with the Appeal Court  to void the Tribunal Judgment, insisting that  he won the election in all its ramifications.

Wole Olanipekun, a Senior Advocate of Nigeria, SAN, who  incidentally is the APC and Oyetola, lawyers ,  had argued   during  the Court proceedings that that  Tribunal’s decision  violated  the country’s Electoral Act of 2010 and Judicial precedence of the Supreme Court. He claimed  that  Peter Obiora, a Justice of the Appeal Court , who prepared and read the judgment did not  participate fully  during the hearing of the petition in Court and therefore not qualified to do so.  

The APC Candidate  and the party think tanks in the state and the Federal  level including Tinubu, the party  leader may have known that  that the Appeal  Court would confirm the ruling of the Tribunal going by the direction of the arguments at the Court  that they quickly  came up with the allegation that he used a forged School Certificate result and testimonial to get cleared by INEC, to contest the election.  

Recall, that the party had made the initial attempt to stop him from contesting the 2018  governorship election by going to  the Akure High Court but lost , thus paving the way for him to contest the election. Note that   a High Court in Abuja, had earlier declared him ineligible to contest the election based on the alleged Certificate forgery.

Many had expected the Adeleke Certificate issue to have been settled with the Appeal Court ruling  on the Osun governorship election petition. Unknown to many the case has just begun with the return of President Muhammadu Buhari, of the ruling APC,  from his private trip  to the United Kingdom on Sunday , May 5, 2019. Indeed, on the evening of Monday, May 6, 2019,on the invitation of the police, the PDP,  Osun governorship  Candidate , was said to have walked up to the Force Headquarters bout arrested and detained , fueling speculation that Abubakar Adamu, the acting Inspector General of Police, IGP, may have waited for the President to return in order to  brief him about the plan to arrest the lawmaker over the  alleged certificate and testimonial forgery.  The police boss may have given Nigerians the impression to believe  that the police was not neutral in the Osun  election.

Frank Mba, a Deputy Commissioner of Police and the Force Spokes Person,  who confirmed the  arrest in a Statement disclosed   that he was taken to police custody  on the evening of Monday, May 6th ,2019,  in readiness for   his subsequent  arraignment in Court,  today, Tuesday,  May 7, 2019. As a prelude to the trial,  the Force Image maker,  averred  that he was” arrested in connection  with the  ongoing criminal investigations touching on his person”. He noted that  he has already been served  with the relevant  ”charges sheet containing  his alleged offences in the presence of his Lawyers.

The embattled Osun PDP  governorship Candidate Campaign Organisation  which did not find his detention funny were said to have    kicked against it, insisting  that it was part of the plot by the APC , to rob him of his  election victory in the state.

 The  Lawmaker Campaign Organisation could not agree with the police that  he forged  his School Certificate result  and testimonial  to contest the September 2018, governorship election in the state. It  described the allegations as a trumped up charges to rob him of  his well deserved victory in the election.

Ademola Adeleke: PDP Governorship Candidate In Osun State Detained By Police

The Campaign Organisation  lamented that   the  allegations are coming  after  the school Principal and school Authority   had through sworn  affidavits in Court ”denied  any forgery  of Certificate and testimonial  by Adeleke as it had owned up  to the school Certificate result and  testimonial issued to him.

The argument in the lips of most people was that if the petitioners were really  in doubt  about  the Senator’s school certificate result, the West African Examination Council, WAEC, office Head office in Nigeria is   in Abuja , the Federal Capital Territory, FCT,  for them to find out  without whether the Senator  was lying or not instead of  going through the legal battles which is time consuming. More so, the WAEC ,  Board,  could save the country the embarrassment  by producing the Osun S enator’s WAEC, result  which should be presented to the Court and to the police Authorities to stop his harassments and intimidations.

There are fears that the continued harassment  and victimisation of the Senator by the APC government  controlled security agencies  might lead to a  break- down of law and order in state but the Lawmaker Campaign Organisation may have realised this early enough that  they have  intervened to save the situation from degenerating by urging its supporters   to remain  calm and law abiding.

 They are optimistic that  justice shall  prevail on the Senator’s case. Political watchers believe  that Tinubu, the  APC,  national leader and the Presidency, are not ready to handover Osun  on a platter of gold to Adeleke,  the PDP  Candidate without a fight. Political Observers  believe that they could  do any, using Federal might, to force Adeleke  to back from pursuing the case in Court  by frustrating him. It is not surprising why they  are   coming up with different allegations of certificate and testimonial forgery  to rubbish the lawmaker and possibly force him to decamp to the ruling APC.

Adams Oshiomhole,  a former governor of Edo state and now National Chairman, of the ruling APC  reportedly said that a thief who  decides to join the APC, becomes a saint from that day, an indication that if Adeleke had contested the Osun  governorship under the platform of the APC, with  such an alleged   baggage on his neck,  the matter would have been buried  under the carpet.  Many believe that he was being harassed because he contested the election on the ticket of the opposition PDP to weaken him.

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