Ondo Tribunal Judgement Vindicates Us – Ondo CPC Governorship Candidate
I have received the unfortunate news of the judgement of the Ondo state Election Petitions tribunal which affirmed the results declared by INEC and agreed that Dr Olusegun Mimiko won the October 20, 2012 Election. This decision definitely runs counter to the desire of the majority of our people in Ondo State, who clearly wish for a change in the government of the state and whom we maintain were denied this possibility in the last election. It is therefore no wonder that the news of the judgement was greeted with almost zero enthusiasm and something akin to grave yard silence and sombre reflection across the length and breadth of our dear state.
Like I mentioned in the interviews, which I granted before the judgement and of course in the petition which I wrote some weeks ago to the President of the court of Appeal over our matter, myself and the CPC had lost confidence in the panel based on our belief that it clearly appeared that it had taken a definite position even before evidences were adduced. Or what other conclusions could one reach about the panel given the reckless, ludicrous and demeaning conclusions which it made about our petition even before we were allowed to adduce evidences? As sad as it seems, we are led to conclude that the judgement is a vindication of my earlier stated position and that of the CPC.
Many have continued to encourage me to keep on with the struggle to ensure our justice system remains a bastion of hope for the common man, which means that justice must not only be done but must also be seen to be done. This is based on the unarguable premise that the judiciary is pivotal to building a virile and enduring democracy. In standing against the absurdity that occurred in respect of our matter, I believe we are making our modest contribution in strengthening our judicial institution and enhancing its respect among the citizenry. I believe that is the right path to follow and I thank those who have encouraged us thus far. However, there are a few who have asked me whether it was worth all the effort, personal sacrifice and risks which I have had to take. To them, I say we can not hope to build strong institutions and a strong democracy if we do not demonstrate the courage needed to confront and address the glaring faults and aberration that we will have to face in the evolution of our democracy.
Specifically, in respect of Ondo state, I remain convinced that our people crave for change from this rudderless government that has no doubt been imposed upon them. I also believe that the tribunal judgement cannot and should not stand in the face of judicial scrutiny by a superior court. It is against this background that I urge Barrister Rotimi Akeredolu and Chief Olushola Oke, the ACN and PDP candidates respectively, to appeal this judgement in the interest of justice and our dear state.
On our own part, the CPC and myself are still awaiting the decision of the President of the Court of Appeal where we requested for the constitution of a new panel to hear our matter given our claim of manifest bias concerning the present tribunal. When the decision is made and communicated to us, we will then take the next appropriate steps. We remain hopeful that the right decisions will be taken so we can have the benefit of presenting our case to a panel which will hopefully examine it dispassionately and on its own merit.
Let me re-iterate to our supporters, the entire people of Ondo state and the general public that myself and my party remain resolute in our goal of ensuring that we get justice and ridding our state of this illegitimate government that has been foisted upon it. GOD bless Ondo State!
Prince Soji Ehinlanwo
CPC Governorship Candidate
Ondo Governorship Election (October 2012)
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