The Governorship Election Petition Tribunal sitting in Ibadan, the Oyo State capital, on Monday adjourned till Thursday, July 13, 2023, the hearing of the petition filed by the Allied Peoples Movement (APM) against Governor Seyi Makinde’s victory in the March 18, 2023 governorship election.
This followed the motion for withdrawal of the case moved by the party.
Speaking on the decision of the party to withdraw the case after the court session, Oyo State chairman of APM, Adegbenro Fagbemi, said the motion to withdraw the case filed by the party against the emergence of Engr. Seyi Makinde of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) as the governor of Oyo State was the best decision the party could make.
According to him, the state executive members of the party were not aware of the case as they were kept in the dark by the national executive till the suit was filed.
He said further, “Withdrawing the case against Governor Seyi Makinde is our best decision. The case was a bit funny and there was an executive override from our national headquarters to have instituted a case against the successful and most celebrated election of Governor Seyi Makinde in Oyo State.
“The executive override is that they did not carry Oyo State executive along and we had to mount pressure on them, and we thank God that the national secretary is here with me in court all the way from Abuja and we are all in agreement that the case has to be withdrawn to allow peace to reign in the state,” he said.
He emphasised that he was at the collation centre as the state collation agent for APM during the polls and observed everything, adding that “I signed the election result that Governor Makinde was duly elected, so there is no case or reason to go to court.
“None of the Oyo State exco members, including the candidate, Adeniran Oluseye from Oyo, was aware of the case until we were called by the court. We were never in support of the case and we are satisfied with the withdrawal. We thank Oyo citizens for being patient with us while this lasted.”
But while speaking after the court session, Otunba Kunle Kalejaiye (SAN), the lead counsel for Governor Makinde, said the case was unnecessary and a waste of time, insisting that such a matter was not only frivolous but also ridiculous.
“We have prepared very seriously for the trial only for us to come this morning to meet a motion for withdrawal filed by them. It’s a sort of anticlimax to us, because we had thought this morning would be the beginning of legal fireworks. This is a political party that scored just a paltry 303 votes in the whole of Oyo State, challenging the victory of the man that scored over 560,000 votes.
“They have had their day in court and the tribunal has adjourned till Thursday to take that motion for withdrawal. Of course we are not opposing but when we get to that bridge, we will cross it.
“This is a matter that ought not to come to court in the first place and it supports my call to the legislature that for you to file an election petition, you must have scored a particular threshold of the total votes cast in that particular state.
“This is ridiculous; 303 votes out of all of Oyo State and you are filing petition, you made three judges to leave their jurisdictions to come and sit over a matter like this but that is still the law and we hope the legislature will do the right thing. It is unfair that three judges left their homes and jurisdictions to come and sit on a ridiculous case like this, it is totally unfair. I think something has to be done because this is a waste of court’s time and resources,” he lamented.