As the Osun State Election Petition Tribunal convenes today, the state chapters of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) traded insults on Sunday over which party has a better chance of success.

The PDP, through its chairman, Dr. Akindele Adekunle, challenged the state governor, Mr. Gboyega Oyetola, to allow the tribunal to hear his petition freely.

The PDP scoffed at the APC’s request to relocate the tribunal to Abuja, which was denied.

“We must emphasize that our objection to the relocation request was based on the critical need to protect the integrity and safety of BVAS machines and other materials used during the elections.” As the machines are likely to be central to the petition’s determination, keeping them safe here in Osun rather than exposing them to tampering and hacking while in transit is our official position,” the PDP added.

The chairman claimed that the APC flooded the media with fabricated figures and fake news to demonstrate its fear of defeat.

“We reiterate for the sake of all democracy supporters that all false election graphics circulated by the APC are figments of their imagination.” The official results of the July 16 elections are still valid. As evidenced by their filings at the Tribunal, all defendants are defending Senator Ademola Adeleke’s victory. We take the risk of saying that none of the defendants admitted to any electoral error, but rather articulated data and facts that authenticated Senator Adeleke’s electoral victory.”

Mr Ismail Omipidan, the governor’s Chief Press Secretary, responded, saying, “Aside from the fact that we are challenging his eligibility to stand for the election in the first instance, based on academic qualification awarded, we are also challenging the election results in 749 polling units across 10 Local Governments.”

He stated that Governor Adegboyega Oyetola’s decision to challenge the results of the July 16 election should not be interpreted as an attempt to undermine the integrity of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC).

The spokesperson expressed confidence in the Tribunal’s members’ ability to do justice in the case at hand, noting that the outcome would go a long way toward forcing INEC to fill some gaps that may have been noticed ahead of the 2023 general election.

“Make no mistake, our case is not an attempt to undermine the integrity of INEC,” Omipidan said. That is not the reason. Its purpose is to help deepen our electoral system and assist INEC in correcting any anomalies or gaps revealed by the conduct of the Osun Governorship Election ahead of the 2023 elections.

“The majority of the reforms we have today as part of our electoral laws are the result of court decisions.” Our observations could be incorporated into future reforms.”

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