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Don't conduct LG poll, PDP warns Oyetola


...We are not aware of any election- Osun ALGON Sec. 

By Jeleel Olawale

The Osun State Chapter of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) has warned Governor Gboyega Oyetola and the Osun State Independent Electoral Commission (OSSIEC) against purported plan to conduct Local Government elections across the Local Government Councils and Local Council Development Areas in Osun State. 

The PDP described the plan as illegal, unlawful and unconstitutional to embark on such wasteful exercise especially at this crucial period and process of transition to the awaiting PDP administration of Governor-elect, Senator Ademola Jackson Nurudeen Adeleke. 

The PDP issued the warning in a press statement by the secretary, Osun PDP legal committee, barrister Hashim Abioye and made available to journalists in Osogbo.

The statement reads in part:"This came on the heels of the reports from a reliable source filtering into the space and indicating that the APC administration in Osun State led by the Governor Adegboyega Oyetola and the APC have concluded plans to embark on illegal, unlawful and unconstitutional voyage, which is targeted at siphoning Osun public funds over an exercise that would definitely turn to be wasteful and fruitless in the end. 

"The Osun PDP wishes to remind Governor Oyetola and his OSSIEC that for close to four years since the coming into office of Governor Oyetola, and the inauguration of OSSIEC  by the Oyetola- led APC administration, the APC has deem it fit to conduct Local Government elections in the State, despite persistent demand by the PDP. 

It is also to be put on record that the PDP resorted to a litigation which is still pending before the High Court of Osun State in HOS/M.139/2021 with PDP as the plaintiff, and Governor of Osun State, Attorney-General of Osun State, the Osun State House of Assembly, the OSSIEC, the APC and the caretaker chairmen in the LGAs, ACDAs and the LCDAs as Defendants to question the legality, propriety and lawfulness or otherwise of the caretaker committee set up by Governor Oyetola instead of conducting valid Local Government elections to usher in a constitutionally recognised Local Government administration in Osun State, so the matter is subjudiced. 

"The concern of the PDP is further premised on the fact that by the provision of Section 28 of the Electoral Act, 2022, notice of any election must be given not less than 360 days before the holding of the election, while by the provision of section 29 of the said Electoral Act, every political party fielding candidates for the election must submit the list of its candidates not later than 180 days before the election". 

The statement further noted that by the doctrine of covering the field, the OSSIEC law cannot give a shorter notice for the holding of an election than what is contained in the Electoral Act, otherwise, the OSSIEC law would be running into a collision course with the Electoral Act, and in that circumstance, it is the OSSIEC law that would give way, while the Electoral Act guides through.

"This is the settled principle of law to which the attention of the  Governor Oyetola and OSSIEC is hereby drawn as in the case of OSSIEC. V. ACTION CONGRESS decided by the Supreme Court in 2011.  

Between now and 26th November, 2022 when the Administration of Governor Oyetola will come to an end, it is clearly less that 360 days, therefore making the planned Local Government election dead on arrival being a nullity ab initio.

"Osun PDP hereby calls on the people of Osun State to rise to the occasion by holding Governor Oyetola and OSSIEC responsible in this voyage of illegality and unconstitutionality. 

The Governor is hereby advised to focus on how to give account of his stewardship and to set up a Transition Committee of Joint Teams of the outgoing and incoming Governor so as to lay a solid foundation for a seamless, transparent and hitch free handing over of power to the incoming Governor, Senator Ademola Adeleke", the statement concluded.

Reacting, the secretary of ALGON, barrister Bisi Oladosu said the body was not aware of any plan to conduct local government election in the state. 

"We are not aware of any plan by the state government to conduct local government election. I don't think there is any plan to conduct local government election. The Governor has not informed us of such plan, so no plan for  that now.

"I don't know where PDP gets its information. Their information is not correct. The Governor has no plan for that now and he is a law abiding governor. This is figment of imagination of the PDP's  lie. This is not true. The PDP is only crying wolf where there is non", Oladosu declared.

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