Following the recent controversy surrounding the Tribunal Judgement on July 16th,2022 Osun State governorship election with the statement on over voting credited to the State Resident Electoral Commissioner (REC), Dr. Mutiu Olalekan Agboke and the subsequent debunking of the statement by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC).
A human rights activist, Comrade Adeniyi Alimi Sulaiman has warned the electoral body led by Professor Mahmood Yakubu not to set the peaceful Osun State on fire with actions and inaction of its officials, saying the problem created by the Commission in the State with the provision of two(2) different results from the Bimordal Voter Accreditation System (BVAS) given to the two major contending political parties of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and All Progressive Congress (APC) in the said election still living with it.
Although, the electoral body(INEC) had claimed that the BVAS result given to the candidate of All Progressive Congress (APC),Mr. Gboyega Oyetola were not completed before it was released to his lawyers and electoral body failed to withdraw the uncompleted BVAS report given to APC before it was tendered as “original BVAS report” at the sitting of 2022 Osun State Election Petition Tribunal in Osogbo,the State capital.
Comrade Sulaiman,who is the Executive Chairman, Centre for Human Rights and Social Justice (CHRSJ) noted that the inconsistence on the part of the electoral umpire in releasing the fake Certified True Copy (CTC) of BVAS result to the APC which relied upon by the Tribunal that lead to the miscarriage of justice by the acclaimed majority judgement of the Election Petition Tribunal, indicating that with the way and manner the Tribunal gave out its judgement with no majority and no minority judgement on the petition before it.
The rights activist advised the Commission to approach the Appellate Court on the controversial Osun Tribunal Judgement, without wasting much of its time to inform the Appeal Court that the Tribunal gave its judgement on the fake BVAS result given to the APC by fifth columnist officials of the Commission and by extension, pleading with the Appellate Court to right the wrong done to the winner of the said governorship election, Governor Ademola Jackson Nurudeen Adeleke by the Tribunal.
According to the statement signed by the CHRSJ’s Executive Chairman,Comrade Sulaiman and copies were made available to newsmen on Sunday,he maintained that approaching the Appellate Court on the subject matter by the electoral body within the time frame of the law,was very important in order to save the Commission on the credibility of BVAS device for the conduct of the forthcoming 2023 general election slated to hold on February 25th,2023 and March 11th,2023.
He further raised concerns on the different comments credited to the both former and current officials of the Commission in the media on the credibility of the BVAS machine in respect of the Osun State Governorship election, urging the Commission’s Chairman, Professor Yakubu to caution its officials on the subject matter in order not to set Osun State nay Nigeria on fire ahead of 2023 general election.
Speaking on the recent debunked statement credited to Osun REC,Dr. Agboke on the BVAS reports tendered by Osun APC Governorship candidate,Mr. Oyetola, before the Tribunal, Sulaiman disclosed that the current Osun REC was doing the bidding of the Oyetola because he(Agboke) was the nominee of Senator Ibikunle Amosun in his first term of office and now the nominee of the National Leader of All Progressive Congress (APC), Senator Bola Ahmed Tinubu and Ogun State Governor, Prince Dapo Abiodun for second term of office in the Commission.
The group described the action of the Commission on the subject matter as inconsequential,bias, dishonest and doubtful political neutrality and if not checked, might set the country on fire with political intergrenum, adding that the official of the Commission that released the BVAS result to former Governor Oyetola had breached the oath of neutrality engendered in the Commission’s guidelines.
Sulaiman who doubles as the Convener, Save Lagos Group (SLG), therefore, enjoined the Commission to ensure punitive measure for the officials that released the controversial reports that lead to the infractions in the reports of BVAS device before the Tribunal, because the reports had caused serious stigma for the electoral body which makes the Nigerians to be doubting its integrity in the conduct of the forthcoming 2023 general election.