IT was a victory song for Governor Adebayo Alao-Akala of Oyo State, as the security report presented at the Court of Appeal in Ibadan, Oyo State capital exonerated him and his party, the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in a suit filed by the All Nigeria Peoples Party (ANPP) governorship candidate, Senator Abiola Ajimobi, challenging the victory of Alao-Akala in the flawed 14 April 2007 governorship election in the state.
This is contrary to the case of the embattled Governor Olagunsoye Oyinlola in Osun State, as the security report glaringly pooh-poohed the conduct of the election in close to 20 local government council areas of the state.
OSUN DEFENDER in its investigation gathered that if the same Court of Appeal would not reprobate on the weight attached to the security report in Alao-Akala’s defence, which described the election at those local government council areas challenged by Ajimobi, as free and fair, the magnitude of violence, killings, ballot snatching and intimidation of voters painted in the security report written, and submitted by Abuja police team-led by C.S.P Ahmed Muhammed during the governorship election in Osun State is enough to send the embattled Osun governor packing from the Oke-fia Government House, Osogbo, Osun State.
According to some legal opinions, which reflected on the brief judgment read by the chairman of the five-man panel, Justice Victor Omage on the Ajimobi’s appeal suit, the documentary evidence of the security report succeeded in quashing some witnesses’ accounts at the lower tribunal, that testified to the violence and electoral malpractices that characterized the controversial councils that reportedly shot the votes of Alao-Akala up against the appellant’s.
However, in Osun State, the security report alone, if received the same confidence from the Court of Appeal judges, would sound death knell for the defence of the embattled Oyinlola, who is a respondent in an appeal suit filed by the Action Congress (AC) governorship candidate, Engineer Rauf Aregbesola.
According to the report, two persons were killed in Osu, Atakumosa-West, while Honourable Ogunleye, a serving member of Osun State House of Assembly, was reported to have led thousands of youths, brandishing cutlasses and rifles. It was learnt that the election was disrupted in Atakumosa-West and East Local Government Council areas of Osun State.
It was reported that the Board of Trustees (BOT) member of the (PDP), Chief Ebenezer Babatope superintended the army of occupation in Ilesa.
Another areas being challenged by Aregbesola, the report indicated that ballot boxes were snatched by hoodlums; some ballot boxes were traced to the house of Oyinlola’s Chief of Staff, Mr. Peter Babalola in Ikire, Irewole Local Government Council Area, as widespread electoral malpractices were recorded in Isokan Local Government Council Area.
The security report painted how Senator Iyiola Omisore was brandishing his rifle in Ife-Central Council area and how voters were chased away by political thugs. It was even learnt that the security team from Abuja got injured in the process.
Ifedayo Local Government Council area was another eye-sore; where PDP thugs reportedly destroyed a mast belonging to AC, before carting away ballot boxes forcefully.
Besides, a House of Representatives member, representing Boripe Ifelodun and Odo-otin Federal Constituency, Mr. Kayode Idowu reportedly led assault in Iree and Iragbiji against the voters, and according to the report, there was no election in Boripe Local Government Council Area.
The report indicted the embattled governor in his home council, as some thugs loyal to him chased away voters, with a caveat that except those who wanted to vote for Oyinlola, there would be no vote, which they (thugs) implemented to the letter.
Meanwhile, an analyst has said that for the PDP to deserve the votes allegedly allotted to it at Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile-Ife, it would take 11 seconds for each voter from accreditation to voting, which is not possible, even in any of the Hollywood movies.
Information at the disposal of OSUN DEFENDER has shown that panic has so gripped the governor’s camp that some of them, who are political functionaries in the government, have started removing their personal effects from their offices and official quarters.
It was gathered that the PDP leaders in the state have resumed into another era of nocturnal meetings with the aim of strategizing for post-judgment, while the governor, in the last one week, has been running from one power broker to the other, with a view to getting soft-landing or re-run, at least.
By GOKE BUTIKA