The Ogun State governorship candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Oladipupo Adebutu, has vowed to appeal the judgement of the state Election Petition Tribunal.
Naija News reports that Justice Hamidu Kanaza-led panel, on Saturday, affirmed the election of Governor Dapo Abiodun of the All Progressives Congress (APC) in the March 18 governorship poll.
Adebutu, in a statement signed by the Director of Media, Ladi Adebutu Campaign Organisation, Afolabi Orekoya, described the judgement as disheartening and a threat to democracy.
He insisted that he would not relent in his effort to seek justice, submitting that the petition was dismissed on the ground of ‘funny’ technicalities without considering the substantial merits and evidence tendered during trial.
Adebutu said the judgement was worrisome and a clear indication that the court is no longer the last hope of the common man.
The statement reads, “The judgment of the Election Petition Tribunal that struck out our petition challenging the outcome of the March 18, 2023, Governorship election in Ogun State is disheartening and a big threat to democracy. This judgment which was based solely on funny technicalities failed to consider the substantial merits and evidence tendered during the trial.
“We firmly believe in the principles of democracy, transparency, and the rule of law. It is with these principles in mind that we entered into the legal process to seek justice for the people of Ogun State whose mandate was stolen. Our commitment to this course remains unwavering, and we will exhaust all available legal avenues to ensure that the will of the people is upheld, justice prevails and the mandate is retrieved.
“Regrettably, the Tribunal chose to focus on mere technicalities and the use of English rather than engage in a thorough examination of the glaring evidence presented. We submitted substantial evidence that raised serious questions about the conduct of the election, even marked ballot papers and we are confident that a closer examination of this evidence would have revealed the true nature of the irregularities and discrepancies that occurred during the election.
“We obtained duly Certified True Copies of documents from the electoral umpire, INEC, and paid for with official receipts to back our claims which proved all the content of our petition and justified our concerns over the election.
“We condemn unequivocally the judgement of the tribunal, consequently, we have mandated our legal team to appeal the judgement of the tribunal. We will not relent until due Justice is served.
“With what was displayed at the tribunal on Saturday 30th, September 2023, it is worrisome that the court may no longer be the hope of a common man who may seek redress through the court shortly if not curtailed.”
Adebutu assured the people of Ogun State that he would not be deterred by the setback, saying that he will continue to fight for the rights and aspirations of his supporters and Ogun citizens.
The PDP flagbearer added that he would approach the appellate court to seek a more equitable and just outcome.
He added: “Hon. Oladipupo Adebutu assures the good people of Ogun State that we will not be deterred by this setback. We will continue to fight for the rights and aspirations of our supporters and the citizens of our dear State.
“Our determination to see justice served will not be shaken by this judgment, and we will take this matter to the appellate courts to seek a more equitable and just outcome.
“We extend our gratitude to our supporters across the State and beyond, who have shown immense resilience and unwavering faith in our cause. We urge them to remain steadfast as we continue this legal battle. We believe that the truth will ultimately prevail, and the will of the people will be acknowledged.
“Recall the case of the current Governor of Osun State, His Excellency, Senator Ademola Adeleke, who was also deprived of Justice at the tribunal but was favoured at the Appeal and Supreme Court.
“We call on all well-meaning citizens and stakeholders in Ogun State to join us in our unrelenting quest for justice and in upholding the principles of democracy. The fight for a better Ogun State continues, and we remain committed to our vision of a brighter future for our beloved State.
“To the good people of Ogun State and our teeming party members, we salute your courage, steadfastness and unwavering support for Hon (Dr) Oladipupo Adebutu and our great party, PDP. We urge you not to be deterred by the pronouncement of the tribunal. The tribunal is just a section of the process of retrieving our mandate that you have freely given to us.