Reports have emerged indicating that Governor Adegboyega Oyetola of Osun state might have engaged no fewer than 50 lawyers to challenge his defeat at the 2022 governorship election of the state.
It was learnt that Oyetola is set to institute a lawsuit against the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and the governor-elect, Ademola Adeleke, seeking redress of outcome of the governorship election.
While Oyetola is set to challenge Adeleke’s victory, the details of the arguments in the originating summons is not yet clear.
The New Diplomat had reported that the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) had on Sunday declared Adeleke the winner of the governorship election in the state.
The Returning Officer for the election and Vice Chancellor of the University of Lagos, Prof. Oluwatoyin Ogundipe, said Adeleke got a total of 403,371 votes to beat the incumbent governor, who polled 375,027 votes and 13 other candidates in the keenly contested race.
Not satisfied with the outcome of the election, a member of the governor’s legal team, Kunle Adegoke, who spoke with the members of the press said the governor’s legal team has been sifting through the election results in preparation for taking serious legal action against the declaration of Adeleke as the governor-elect by the INEC.
Adegoke said, “We are still reviewing documents and the legal team is actually working. In an election of this nature, the documents will be so many; so it is important to look at them critically before we make a decision and that is exactly what we are working on right now.
“Dr Biodun Layonu (SAN), is the leader of the team. The legal team is not complete yet because there are so many others that will still come in.
“In the meantime, the two members of the legal team we can reveal are Dr Biodum Layonu and Kunle Adegoke. Others that may come in are people we may not know but as soon as we are ready to move, we will notify the press.
“The membership can’t be determined as many lawyers are interested in joining the team. You know election petition is a special case. So, we allow as many lawyers that are interested to come in. We may run into 50 or more members.”
Reacting to the move by Oyetola, the Secretary of Osun PDP Legal Committee, Hashim Abioye, said the party is ready to engage with APC in the court.
He also said it is within APC’s right to bring together several lawyers to challenge Adeleke’s victory, adding that the development is not a threat to the party.
“The APC have a right to line up as many lawyers as they can. It is their right. From all indications, they want to go to the tribunal. If you look at the Electoral Act, it has roles for INEC, political parties, the conduct of the election and after that, there are provisions for election petitions.
“It is not a threat at all. I have been involved in so many election petition matters where you line up as many lawyers as you can. That does not mean anything. There is no room for anyone to hide again in litigation. You place your card face up. We are waiting for them,” Abioye said.