A prominent Non-Governmental organization – HUMAN RIGHTS WRITERS ASSOCIATION OF NIGERIA (HURIWA) has applauded the Osun state governorship election petition Tribunal for restoring faith in the judiciary as the last hope of the common man by returning the candidate of the opposition political party- Peoples Democratic Party Senator Ademola Adeleke as winner of the September 27th poll.
HURIWA stated that the current administration has carried out systematic attacks against the judiciary using all sorts of backhand tactics and illegally deploying the Department of state services (DSS); and the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) and lately the Code of Conduct Tribunal presided over by the allegedly compromised Chairman who illegally granted an ex parte order that unconstitutionally unseated the Chief justice of Nigeria Justice Walter Onnoghen all in attempts to cow the judges and get them to always give choreographed verdicts in favour of the party in power at the center.
The Rights group said the judgment by the Election Tribunal is reassuringly bold and is in compliance with rule of law.
HURIWA recalled that the Osun State Governorship Election Tribunal had earlier declared Ademola Adeleke of the PDP as the winner of the controversial state election just as the tribunal also declared the September 27 rerun election in the state illegal.
HURIWA recalled that the three-man panel of the Tribunal gave the judgment on Friday following the petition filed by the governorship candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, Senator Ademola Adeleka against the All Progressives Congress, APC and its candidate, Gboyega Oyetola. Besides, HURIWA recalled that the Tribunal also ruled that PDP and Adeleke proved that it was the state Returning Officer who cancelled the results in 7 Polling Units, adding that the petitioners also proved that the Returning Officer has no power to cancel election results of a polling unit.
The Tribunal also deducted 2,029 votes from APC scores and 1,246 votes from PDP votes in 17 polling units where there was noncompliance.
HURIWA recalled that delivering the judgment, the panel had a split decision. While two members (majority judgment) ruled in favour of PDP and Ademola; the chairman, Justice Ibrahim Sirajo (minority judgment), ruled in favour of APC and Oyetola.
HURIWA which reacted to the news of the development said the verdict was not just for the opposition political party but was a celebration of the virtues of transparency, accountability and courage just as the group expressed optimism that the judgment will in a very significant way redress the massive injustice meted out to the electorate in Osun state by the corrupt Independent National Electoral Commission just as the Rights group demanded that the INEC collation officials who thwarted the will of the people be prosecuted for treason.
HURIWA recalled that section 285 (1) of the Nigerian Constitution stated thus: “There shall be established for the Federation one or more election tribunals to be known as the National Assembly Election Tribunals which shall, to the exclusion of any or tribunal, have original jurisdiction to hear and determine petitions as to whether – (a) any person has been validly elected as a member of the National Assembly; (b) the term of office of any person under this Constitution has ceased; (c) the seat of a member of the Senate or a member of the House of Representatives has vacant; and (d) a question or petition brought before the election tribunal has been properly or improperly brought.”
HURIWA has therefore asked that the rightful winner of the Osun state governorship poll as declared by the Tribunal be sworn in immediatelly and the impostor be dethroned to halt further perpetuation of illegality since he is occupying the office of governor of Osun state fraudulently.