Hon. Adekunle Akinlade, the Peoples Democratic Party’s (PDP) runner-up for governor in Ogun State, has said that the PDP will appeal the tribunal’s decision.
In a statement released by his media aide Adelani Azeez, Akinlade reassured party members that the petitioners had anticipated the tribunal’s ruling on Saturday.
According to the JANESCOPE, the tribunal ruled on Saturday that Adebutu and the PDP’s challenge to Governor Dapo Abiodun’s election was without substance and hence dismissed their appeal.
The people and the party, said Akinlade in response to the ruling, “must take comfort in three facts: first, that the Tribunal is the court of first instance; second, that we are blessed with a resolute leader; and third, that time, which is the determinant of all things, is on our side.”
Akinlade, who ran against the sitting governor in 2019, referred to a passage from the late sage Obafemi Awolowo: “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.”
In urging PDP supporters and Ogun State residents to view the verdict as a temporary setback, he stated, “from the beginning, we predicted this outcome, considering the set of individuals we are engaging.”
He reflected on the past and said, “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 made it sound like there was no resistance in Ogun State, but we prayed to God, put our faith in action, and won back the support of the courts.
Here we are in March of 2023, having overcome arrests of our members and blackmail and threats against our leader through the ballot box.
The election petition tribunal found that we had effectively argued our case despite calling 94 witnesses (including specialists) and submitting over 200,000 certified documents as proof.
From the beginning, we maintained that the allegations of vote-buying were an attempt to derail us, and on September 30th, 2023, the panel “mercifully” agreed with us.
The official statement on the appeal read as follows: “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 resource at our disposal to right this injustice in the collective interest of our dear State.”