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Osun PDP Warns Oyetola against  Illegal Local Government Election

todayAugust 2, 2022

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Yinka Kolawole

The Osun State Chapter of the Peoples’ Democratic Party (PDP) has warned the outgoing Governor of Osun State, Mr. Gboyega Oyetola and the Osun Independent Electoral Commission (OSSIEC) against going ahead with the planned local government election in Osun State, condemning same as unlawful, illegal and criminal.

However, Osun State Independent Electoral Commission (OSSIEC) had stated that it was not planning to hold any local government election in the state.

The Spokesperson of the OSSIEC, Mr. Babatunde Fanawopo, debunked the rumour yesterday via a phone conversation with THISDAY in Osogbo.

Fanawopo stated that it is only OSIEC that is backed by law to announce such exercise and not social media announcement.

He equally stressed that any arrangements regarding local government election exercise would come directly from the Chairman of OSIEC, Mr. Segun Oladitan.

According to him, “unconfirmed reports have stated that the commission had planned to hold local government elections in the state on October 29, 2022.”

The Director of Media, Osun State PDP, Mr. Oladele Oluwabamiji, in a press statement made available to THISDAY yesterday adverted the mind of Governor Oyetola and the state’s electoral body to a pending suit before the Federal High Court, Osogbo, in FHC/OS/CS/94/2022, by which the Peoples’ Democratic Party is Challenging OSSIEC on the planned illegal local government election.

The PDP is also praying the court to restrain INEC from releasing voters register to OSSIEC for reason of non-compliance with the provisions of the Electoral Act 2022 with respect to giving notice of elections, nomination of candidates, publication of names etc.

According to the PDP, the public is invited to note the act of illegality and criminality being embarked upon by the outgoing governor and his OSSIEC, a body which till date has no legal backing for its existence.

Despite being constituted close to two years ago with huge resources expended on the commission chairman, the secretary and staff, the commission has failed to conduct any local government election since then, until now when the Oyetola-led APC administration in Osun State has been voted out of power.

“We affirm that under the Electoral Act 2022, notice of any election must be given not later than 360 days before the election, and nomination of candidates for the election must not be later than 180 days before the election, while publication of names shall be a period not later than 150 days before the election.

It should be noted that by virtue of the Second Schedule Paragraphs 11 and 12 of the 1999 Constitution as amended, no State electoral law can have precedence over the Electoral Act.

Moreso, the Electoral Act 2022 has made it clear that every State Electoral Commission must comply with the provisions of the Electoral Act 2022 in conducting local government elections.

Referencing section 151 of the Electoral Act, 2022, the Party warned OSSIEC that apart from the purported election running the risk of being rendered void absolutely, it is a criminal offence for any member or staff of any State electoral body who conspires or indulges in holding an election contrary to the Electoral Act, 2022.

“We are, therefore, alerting members of the public to rise against another wastage and conduit pipe through which the resources of Osun people are being siphoned, the statement affirmed, warning that no product of illegality will be allowed to stand by the incoming Adeleke administration.

“The party further advised Oyetola and OSSIEC to arrange a team of legal experts to review the legal stipulations so as to be properly guided and avoid running into serious legal ditch that will not only bring an embarrassment to whoever may be the target beneficiaries of the planned illegal election, but also further put the State in a serious financial mess.”

The party called on Governor Oyetola to channel the funds meant for the illegal election towards settling arrears of salaries of workers and pensioners in the state.

However efforts to speak with Osun State Commissioner for Justice and Attorney-General, Mr. Femi Akande, to comment on the matter did not yield any result as he did not pick several calls made to him.

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todayAugust 2, 2022

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