Some members of the People Democratic Party (PDP) in Osun state on Thursday staged a peaceful protest at the state high court in Osogbo over alleged disbandment of the Osun state governorship election petition tribunal.
Supporters of PDP governorship candidate in September 22 poll, Senator Ademola Adeleke stormed the venue of tribunal sitting with placards with different inscription to register their displeasure over the latest development.
The protesters while speaking with journalists vowed to resist any attempt by the All Progressives Congress to subvert the will of the people of Osun state.
The former Anthony General and Commissioner for Justice in the state, Barr Niyi Owolade described the alleged disbandment of the tribunal as an attempt to commit a second robbery against the people of Osun.
Niyi Owolade said the tribunal has been disbanded without giving any reason for such action and without evidence of constituting another soon
He further explained that the party filed a petition on Tuesday, in which the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, the Governor -elect, Alhaji Gboyega Oyetola and All Progressives Congress , APC, were joined as respondents.
“He said that while the first respondent, INEC had been served, Oyetola and his party have declined service, which compelled them to file an application for substituted service.”
“Owolade said they were taken aback on Thursday morning when officials of the tribunal informed them that the tribunal has been disbanded without giving any reason for such action and without evidence of constituting another soon. While we have been able to serve the first respondent, the second and the third respondents declined service so, we brought an application here yesterday for substituted service.
“The application was to have been heard 9:am this morning but we were surprised when we heard that the panel has been disbanded. What is even more surprising is that they disbanded a panel without replacement.
“We all know that election petition matters are sui jeneris, our 180days started counting from 16th October, and section 285, sub-section 6 of the 1999 constitution is clear about that. By the 180 days duration, final judgement on this matter is to be delivered on or before April 15, 2019, and the time is of essence.
” We are surprised that the President of Appeal Court, who is saddled with the responsibility of constituting election tribunal has not deem it fit to have put in place a new panel “, he said.
The party therefore demanded for immediate constitution of the panel in order to continue with the process without delay.
Meanwhile, the registrar of the court refused to comment on the disbandment of the election tribunal.