The Deputy Governorship candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, in Ogun State, Hon. Adekunle Akinlade, has said the party would challenge the result of the Governorhip Election Petition Tribunal.
Akinlade, in a statement by his media aide, Adelani Azeez, said the petitioners already envisaged that the tribunal would rule the way it did on Saturday, and urged members of the party to remain calm.
The tribunal on Saturday dismissed the petition filed by Adebutu and the PDP against the election of Governor Dapo Abiodun, saying it lacked merit.
Reacting to the judgement, Akinlade said, “As a people and party, we must take solace in three facts: first, that the Tribunal is the court of first instance; second, that we are blessed with a resolute leader and lastly, that time, which is the determinant of all things, is on our side.”
Akinlade, who contested against the incumbent governor in 2019, quoted the late sage, Obafemi Awolowo, saying, “It is not how many times a man falls or fails that matters, but his ability to rise each time, learn from his mistakes and forge ahead.”
While admonishing the PDP faithful and people of Ogun State to see the judgement as a temporary setback, he said, “from the beginning, we predicted this outcome, considering the set of individuals we are engaging.”
He went down memory lane, saying: “In 2022, they threw everything they had at us, got our candidates and party (PDP) removed from INEC list with the intention of stopping us from participating in the 2023 general elections. They went to town saying that there was no opposition in Ogun State, but we turned to God, fought courageously and the courts reinstated us.
“Fast forward to March 2023, they arrested our members, blackmailed and threatened our leader, but we prevailed at the polls.
“Against all odds and intents, we pushed through the obstacles placed before us and called 94 witnesses including experts, presented over 200,000 certified documents in evidence, argued our case before the election petition tribunal efficiently.
“We said it from inception that the alleged issue of vote buying was nothing than a ploy to distract us and the panel ‘mercifully’ ruled that in our favor yesterday 30th September 2023.”
Speaking on the move to appeal the judgement, he added, “As we commence the process of filing our notice of appeal at the Court of Appeal, we assure our teeming supporters and the good people of Ogun State that we will not relent in our resolve to get justice and we will explore and deploy every resources at our disposal to right this injustice in the collective interest of our dear State.”