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Ogun Election Tribunal: Abiodun Never Admitted Irregularities in His Election

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In a bid to interfere in the judicial process going on in the election petition tribunal sitting in Isabo, Abeokuta, the Akinlade camp has begun giving false reports of what goes on in the courtroom. In a recent report, the camp claimed that Governor Dapo Abiodun “might have admitted before the tribunal that his election was not free and fair.” This is a mischievous twist of the submissions of Governor Abiodun in court.

It is understandable however that this is because Hon. Akinlade and his puppeteer, Amosun have yet to heal from the wounds of their disgraceful loss at the election. Their loss was clearly a result of the people’s frustration with and eventual lack of confidence in the failed administration of Amosun who against all odds, went on a desperate mission to install an successor that would have continued in his established style of tyranny and crass disregard for method and structure. Amosun, himself already unpopular, lost his own local government and 5 out of all 8 state constituencies.

In the tribunal sitting in Isabo, the claim of overvoting, by the Akinlade camp, was never proven in court. It remains an unsubstantiated claim. Earlier, Governor Abiodun, through his counsel, Taiwo Osipitan (SAN), had urged the court to dismiss Akinlade’s petition, as he was unable to prove overvoting due to lack of witnesses.

Mamman Usman (SAN), counsel to Akinlade, has only been able to call 34 witnesses from 34 polling units out of the 142 polling units within the state. Note should be taken that these witnesses, though admitted before the court, only testified with respect to the said 34 polling units.

Osipitan observed that this did not prove overvoting, because even if all the votes from the 34 polling units were cancelled as Akinlade prayed, Akinlade would still lose by a wide margin. According to him, votes cast in the units are 2,394 and when this is deducted from overall votes cast, Dapo Abiodun would poll 239,389 votes while Akinlade would have 219,759 votes, leaving Abiodun leading. This is, noting that even if the votes cast in these polling units were given gratis to the candidate of the Allied People’s Movement (APM), Akinlade; the All Progressives Congress (APC) would still win the election by a wide margin.

It was this hypothesis that the Akinlade camp, lacking facts admissible before the court, predated on and mischievously twisted as Governor Abiodun’s acknowledgement of irregularities. These people have deliberately disregarded their actual inability to prove the claimed irregularity in the electoral process.

For the enlightenment of the good people of Ogun State, alarm should further be raised about the self-proclaimed reporters who churn out these propagandist claims. It has been stated elsewhere in an opinion written by a concerned citizen that the unpopular site which hosts these false claims and reports is itself a propagandist blog set up to roll out information intended to distract the good people of Ogun State from the truth. For instance, this recent report backs up its suspicious claims with the farce “as sighted by our correspondent.” This is, to say the least, a very insensitive piracy of the journalism profession.

Let it be restated that most importantly, Hon. Akinlade and his camp have not been able to substantiate the claim of overvoting. This claim and other allegations are untrue, and it is best they accept that they lost the election.

The good people of Ogun State should therefore not be worried about this most cunning distortion of words and intentions but be focused on the truth. Rest assured, the people have given the mandate to Prince Dapo Abiodun, even as the Amosun-Akinlade camp keep wailing that their mandate was stolen despite not being able to prove their atrocious claim. There is a new wind of peace that now blows across the State with the coming in of a new administration that knows the people always come before the government.

SF Ojo Emmanuel. A.
Senior Special Assistant to the Governor on New Media.

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