The Peoples Democratic Party, PDP in Osun State has told Osun State Independent Electoral Commission (OSSIEC) to stop the Local Government Election being planned by the Commission because the election conflicts completely with the provisions of the law.
According to a press statement issued on Saturday by the Director of Media of the PDP in the state, Oladele Oluwabamiji HOB and made available to newsmen in Osogbo, the PDP described the planned election as a futile effort that will certainly not stand and as such, an attempt to plunge the state further into financial mess.
The State Independent Electoral Commission had announced on Friday that it would conduct the local government election in October 2022, in flagrant disregard for the rules of conduct of elections as enshrined in the new electoral act as amended.
While presenting position of the PDP to the Commission on behalf of the state Chairman, Dr Akindele Adekunle, the Party Secretary Otunba Femmy Carrena and secretary of PDP Legal Committee, Barrister Hashim Abioye drew attention of the Commission, not only to the futility of conducting the election but the grave danger of running foul of the law of the land with inherent consequences.
According to a letter presented to OSSIEC and explained by the duo of Otunba Femmy Carrena and Barrister Hashim Abioye, the PDP informed Chairman and members of the Commission about pendency of legal suits before the High Court of Osun State and of latest, a suit pending before the Federal High Court, Osogbo, in which the legitimacy of the Commission as presently constituted, the constitutionality and legality of the planned Local Government election amongst others are being challenged.
The PDP also cited the Supreme Court decision in OSSIEC. V. ACTION CONGRESS, where it was stated without any ambiguity that no state electoral law can override the provision of the Electoral Act made by the National Assembly.
“To this effect, by the provision of section 28 of the Electoral Act, 2022, no election can hold until a notice is given not later than 360 days before the said election. The said Electoral Act also provides mandatorily in section 29 the period within which list of candidates must be published which is 180 days.
“It is no brainier that the period within which the outgoing APC administration in Osun State is left with, is clearly far less than the period stipulated in paragraphs 28 & 29 of the Electoral Act, 2022.
“It will also be fatally wrong for OSSIEC chairman to jettison section 150 (1) & (2) of the electoral act which makes it compulsory for a state electoral body to follow the provision of the Electoral Act in the procedure regulating elections to the Local Government as sub-paragraph 3 of the said section invalidates any election by a State electoral body in contravention of the procedure stipulated in the Electoral Act.
“To further solidify the PDP’s position, the Electoral Act in sub-paragraph 4 of section 150 makes it a criminal offence and any official of the state electoral body in breach of the provision shall be prosecuted and punished accordingly
“OSSIEC, acting ignorant of these clear provisions of the law for whatever reasons, while adamantly pressing for conduct of the election, can only lead to one end, which is willful criminality and the attendant consequences, the PDP warned.
“While we sympathize with the outgoing APC government in Osun State over the present but deliberate predicament, we must however warn that the incoming PDP government will not condone illegality under whatever guise”
“We are not unaware of the desperate plot by the outgoing government to use the conduct of the local government election to cover for some financial atrocities already perpetrated against the state, but the state government and members of OSSIEC must be reminded that such effort is akin to foisting double jeopardy on the already battered economy of the state”
“The PDP, to this end, calls the attention of the Inspection General of Police, IGP Alkali Baba Usman to the seeming illegality being driven through the OSSIEC chairman, Otunba Segun Oladitan which is capable of throwing the State into tumultuous but avoidable crisis.
” The IGP and the state Commissioner of Police are enjoined to take proactive steps to nip in the bud, the likelihood of crisis arising from the auto pilot illegality of OSSIEC’s insistence on conducting the local government election in Osun State, by arresting the Commission chairman and cause him to explain the propriety of his actions against the laws of the land”
The PDP however, assured the good people of Osun State of the unwavering commitment of the Governor-Elect, Senator Ademola Jackson Nurudeen Adeleke and indeed the PDP, to protection of their interest, no matter whose ox is gored.
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