2022: We’re in court to deepen democratic values – Oyetola’s aide

The decision by Governor Adegboyega Oyetola to challenge the outcome of the July 16 Osun governorship poll should never be seen as an attempt to impugn on the integrity of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), Ismail Omipidan, Oyetola’s spokesman, has said.

He noted that Oyetola’s decision should rather be commended as it was aimed at deepening the country’s democratic values and its electoral system.

Speaking with journalists Sunday, Omipidan, expressed confidence in the ability of the members of the tribunal to do justice in the case before it and noted that the outcome would go a long way in making INEC fill some gaps that might have been noticed ahead of the 2023 general elections.

“Make no mistake, our case is not in any way an attempt to impugn on the integrity of INEC. That is not the motivation. It is to further help deepen our electoral system and to help INEC correct whatever anomalies or gaps that may have been exposed from the conduct of the Osun governorship election ahead of 2023 elections. Most of the reforms we have today as part of our electoral laws were borne out of the decisions of the court. Our observations may as well be part of the future reforms,” the governor’s chief press secretary stated.

Asked if the APC has any case at all, Omipidan said, “Apart from the fact that we are challenging his eligibility to stand for the election in the first instance, having purportedly been awarded a university degree barely 24 days after he acquired an equivalent of an O’level result, we are equally challenging the election results in 749 polling units across 10 local governments.

“It is common knowledge that in 2019, Senator Ademola Adeleke faced criminal allegations of examination malpractice. He was granted bail, and then he travelled abroad and did not return until he came for this election.

“Interestingly, as at 2018, he had no O-level results. But upon his return, he claimed he has a diploma, awarded to him mid last year and that the said certificate qualified him for a B.Sc in Criminal Studies or so 24 days after getting the said Diploma certificate.”

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