The Osun State Independent Electoral Commission (OSIEC) has reiterated its stance on the conduct of local government election earlier slated for January 27,2018, in the face of a pending litigation.
The OSIEC’ s Chairman, Mr Segun Oladitan asserted that the decision of the commission to go ahead with the exercise was hinged on the premise that the litigation does not in anyway affect the process of the contest.
It would be recalled that OSIEC, at a press conference late last year had announced its resolve and plan to conduct the councils’ poll on Saturday, January 27, 2018.
It was against the backdrop that a human right activist, Kanmi Ajibola and some members of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) approached the court, to declare the action as unconstitutional and illegal, arguing that the propose parliamentary system at the local government level is in conflict with electoral law.
However, at a stakeholders meeting organized by the commission in Osogbo, the state capital, the OSIEC Chairman further opined that the court injunction, which supposedly sought to halt the process would not prevent the commission from conducting the poll as earlier announced.
Olaitan who faulted the process through which the injunction was served said, January 27 was sacrosanct.
He said, “when the date for the conduct of local government election was announced, the opposition party approached the court, seeking the conciliation of the process but instead of serving the commission the notice of injunction in Osogbo, they brought it to liaison office, Abuja, which according to him does not fall under the jurisdiction”.
According to him, ” the local governments election was last held in 2007 and the forthcoming election would take place on Jan. 27 , despite the court injunction.
“The method at which the injunction was served was questionable and the commission position is simple.
” The injunction served at liaison office in abuja would not bind the commission. We have not submitted our self to the jurisdiction of the federal high court”, he resorted.
While giving the breakdown of the election, Olaitan enunciated that out 389 wards in the state, only 125 wards have more than one person contesting, while 264 wards have only one candidate contesting without opponent.
He explained that 18 political parties out of the 28 that registered would be contesting in the 3, 018 polling units in the state.
Oladitan sought for the cooperation of the commission , security agencies and political parties to make the contest a success.
Olaitan who called on members of political parties to conduct themselves in a lawful manner in order to ensure itch free polls announced that, there would be no vehicular movement between 7:00 a.m. and 2:00 p.m.
Earlier, the Commissioner of Police (CP) in Osun, Mr Folahanmi Adeoye, enjoined all political parties not to take laws into their hands , adding that election is not a do or die affair.
Adeoye noted that security agencies would not relent in their efforts to ensure hith-free exercise.
He called on relevant stakeholders to desist from any act capable of destabilizing the election.
Present at the stakeholders meeting are the security heads in the state, political parties, OSIEC staff , among others.