Ekiti Election: Why APC is Going to Court – Oyegun
The National Chairman of All Progressives Congress, APC, Chief John Odigie-Oyegun, yesterday, explained the decision of the party to drag the Federal Government to court over the conduct of the June 21 governorship election in Ekiti State, saying there were several unanswered questions in the election.
Although, he said his party decided to concede victory to the PDP in the governorship election in Ekiti State because it did not want anything that could make the people react negatively and violently, he added that dragging the FG to court is meant to challenge the constitutional breaches perpetuated by the federal authorities ahead of the election.
The party said the legal option was aimed at ensuring that “some unconstitutional and undemocratic actions” taken by the federal government ahead of the election were not repeated in future elections.
Although Oyegun said it might not challenge the victory of Fayose unless the outcome of the enquiry instituted into the conduct of the election proved that it was manipulated in his favour, he added that the some actions taken by the federal government aided Fayose and the ruling party to win the election.
“There is more to that election than meet the eyes and that is why we are subjecting it to thorough examination. We are not going to challenge the victory of Fayose unless the outcome of our investigation shows that he was not validly elected by the people of Ekiti state,” he added.
He said the federal government “militarised” the election, adding that there was no constititutional provision for such action.
Odigie-Oyegun identified such “unconstitutional breaches” by the federal government to include the restriction of the movement of APC governors and leaders by closing the airports and blockage of roads and use of security agents, especially military personnel to intimidate APC leaders and the electorate.
The former governor of Edo State said the APC also had reservations about the closure of the state for 48 hours ahead of the crucial election.
“The APC is dragging the federal government to court for constitutional breaches like closing of airports, not allowing our members to embark on legitimate movement, closing the state for 48 hours, militarisation of the election. The system that allowed Obanikoro (Minister of State for Defence) and Police Affairs Minister to move into Ekiti State but prevented our governors and party leaders and members from free movement cannot be constitutional.
“These constitutional breaches were perpetuated in the run-up to the election in Ekiti state and these actions were not only illegal but injurious to the conduct of a free and fair election. The militarisation was intimidating to voters,” he said.
He affirmed that APC was heading for court to make sure that these situations were not repeated in future elections, insisting that the federal government did not provide a level playing ground to pave the way for the conduct of a free and fair election in the state.
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