Diplomacy of Demolition: If there is anything that the Dapo Abiodun led government has been able to get away with in the past few weeks, it is about taking the attention of the citizens away from the impending judgement of the election tribunal. I must confess, it is a strategy that seems to have worked, or is still working.
Shortly after the tribunal reserved judgement on the election heist trials in September, Ogun State citizens have been treated to a cocktail of wicked distractions and diversions and needless controversies by the same people who have been accused of stealing votes in a manner that suggests who is afraid of the outcome.
Starting from the threats and arrests by men of the security agencies of journalists and a lawyer to the incarceration of a local government council chairman Wale Adedayo who dared to blow the whistle on the alleged stealing of local government statutory funds based on petitions by the government on sundry and frivolous grounds.
The closest we ever got to hearing about the matter of the tribunal was briefly after the Presidential elections petition court judgement on April 6 when some members of the government were fishing for similarities on the grounds of challenge.
They made feeble attempts to elate themselves by claiming or “finding” a judgement for themselves in the Presidential election petition court decisions. But this was short-lived. The flurry and excitement went down no sooner than it was raised, perhaps on the advice of their legal counsel that their joy may not last because judges treat each matter on the merit of what was presented before them.
Most importantly, the Publicity Secretary of the APC in Ogun State, Tunde Oladunjoye went to town claiming that the plank upon which the Ladi Adebutu and the PDP challenge rests had been dismantled in Abuja. Which also suggests that the APC legal team was also on a voyage of expedition, only trying to dismantle the challenge on the strength of technicalities instead of facts of the matter.
It appears that the evidence brought before the Governorship Election Petition Tribunal is so overwhelming and unassailable that neither the Abiodun, APC as well as INEC were unwilling to challenge them, but to render them useless.
That means they are only looking for “judgement” and definitely not “justice” which the people of Ogun State are quite thirsty of at the moment. Justice cannot be served when you leave “Facts”, “proves” and “evidence” to be window shopping for “processes”.
That would have been unjust to the foundation upon which the Nigerian legal system is erected, which is about Justice. I could read Oladunjoye gloating over such processes as the pedestal of hope on which Dapo Abiodun is planning to build his second term as Governor.
It is like trying to smuggle in the Oriki of the Ibadan people into the legal jurisprudence of Nigeria “Omo ibi ti Ole ti nj’are olohun… iwo naa se gbe beun” (a place where the thief wins in arguments against the owner… why did you keep your things carelessly”.
Such legal victory does not deserve celebration because it changes nothing about the character of the thief and our judges are not or cannot be that wicked to reward robbers at the expense of the owners.
Facts of the matter which remained undisputed, is the fact that Dapo Abiodun and the APC were awarded illegal votes during the Governorship election of March 18. Without being a lawyer, and as someone who followed the processes all through, I can speak to these facts clearly as I may not be able to touch on the technicalities of lawyers.
Ladi Adebutu and PDP had approached the tribunal that he was robbed of victory during the election and pleaded with the court to grant him permission to examine or inspect all INEC documents to bring evidence from their own records, and the request was granted.
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Adebutu and PDP inspected the INEC records right before the Dapo Abiodun and APC’s legal team. No dispute, no controversy. These documents were brought before the Court, stamped and signed in acknowledgment as very authentic and a reflection of the true reality.
At that point, all evidence becomes the properties of the Court because they were generated on its Orders.
All through the legal process, INEC did not disown them (in fact they were stamped as Certified True Copies and signed by officers of INEC from their legal department), Dapo Abiodun did not fault them as fakes (his lawyers witnessed where they were sorted at INEC office and can attest to their authenticity), they only tried to make feeble attempts about the procedure of tendering and also claiming they are not signed.
According to the Adebutu/PDP lawyers, over 200,000 documents cannot be signed individually but a covering letter for groups of documents will acknowledge the entire group, and this was duly done.
We append signatures on the last page of letters or volumes of documents to own the entire documents as well as any attachments.
As the people of Ogun State wait in suspended anxieties in the next few days for justice while those who stole their franchise and peace are desperately searching to procure judgement same as they tried to purchase the conscience of politicians on the twilight of the elections, we trust that the revered men of the Bench will vote on the side of the people’s genuine expectations because it is in them the people’s hope reside now.
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