The Ogun State Government has reportedly refused to set up an election tribunal to allow dissatisfied candidates and their parties to seek redress, a week after the election.

This is as the New Nigeria Peoples Party (NNPP) accused the Ogun State Independent Electoral Commission (OGSIEC) of rigging the councillorship election in Ward 14, Imala, Abeokuta North Local Government.

As the Chairman of OGSIEC, Babatunde Osibodu, presented the certificates of return to the 20 chairmen and the 236 councillors, the NNPP said its candidate, who won in Ward 14 of Abeokuta North was ignored, saying Osibodu presented the certificate to the candidate of the All Progressives Congress (APC).

DAILY POST reports that as of Sunday, August 1, the aggrieved parties have not seen any tribunal where they can seek redress.

Some of the opposition parties have also expressed grievances that the judiciary has not set up a tribunal to allow them contest the outcome of the poll.

Our correspondent learnt that the State High Court had embarked on its annual vacation and would resume by month-end.

The State Chairman of the New Nigeria Peoples Party (NNPP), Oginni Olaposi described the situation as “bizarre and unexpected”.

Oginni accused Governor Dapo Abiodun of disobedience to the rule of law, stressing that the development “is an invitation to anarchy in the state.”

He expressed worry that Abiodun inaugurated an electoral body to conduct an election without giving a directive for the setting up of an Election Petition Tribunal by the judiciary.

According to him, “the law allows an aggrieved party to file petitions within 14 days after the announcement of election results, but one week had already passed without setting up of the tribunal.”

“Ogun State is not a one-party state. The New Nigeria Peoples Party has come out as one of the major oppositions of this government and we are ready to fight it out with them. We are taking them to the cleaners. Whatever way, whatever tactic they think they know to subvert the wishes of the people will be resisted.

“But one thing I want to say loud and clear is that anyone that makes peaceful change impossible makes violent change inevitable,” Oginni said.

The Action Alliance equally asked the government to set up an election tribunal.

The party through its lead counsel, Olubayo Durojaiye wrote the Ministry of Local Government and Chieftaincy Affairs, asking it to set up an election tribunal to allow it to seek redress of the alleged irregularities.

The party complained that the elections witnessed “a lot of irregularities such as rigging, multiple voting, ballot stuffing among others.”

Contacted, the State Attorney General and Commissioner for Justice, Akingbolahan Adeniran, declined comments, saying he does not work on Sundays.

“I don’t do work stuff on Sunday. Please, call me tomorrow,” he said in a telephone chat.

Speaking on the councillorship election in Imala, Oginni said: “NNPP is ready to get to the bottom of this matter. We are calling on the Nigeria Police anti-fraud department to move in and investigate Osibodu and Co. In the same vein, we are inviting the Department of State Service (DSS) to invite Osibodu and the electoral officers involved in this heinous crime of Ward 14, Imala Abeokuta North.

“The involvement of these security agencies and the testimonial of the officers at the venue where NNPP votes were declared is the only panacea to lasting peace on this criminal matter.

“We need the tribunal to be set up immediately. We’re confident of getting justice at the Appeal Court if we are shortchanged at the Tribunal!” he added.

OGSIEC Chairman, Osibodu could not be reached for comments at the time of filing this report.


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