Barring last minute change of mind, the Osun State Governor, Mr Gboyega Oyetola, may engage no fewer than 50 lawyers, including senior advocates, to challenge the victory of the Peoples Democratic Party candidate, Ademola Adeleke, in last Saturday’s governorship election in the state.
A member of the governor’s legal team, Kunle Adegoke, said this in an interview with The Punch on Tuesday, just as the PDP and the governor-elect warned the Independent National Electoral Commission against allowing the All Progressives Congress to tamper with election materials.
The governor’s legal team has been sifting through the election results in preparation for taking serious legal action against the declaration of Adeleke as the governor-elect by the INEC.
Recall that INEC on Sunday declared Adeleke the winner of the governorship election in the state.
The Returning Officer for the election and Vice Chancellor of the University of Lagos, Prof. Oluwatoyin Ogundipe, said Adeleke got a total of 403,371 votes to beat the incumbent APC governor, who polled 375,027 votes and 13 other candidates in the keenly contested race.
Oyetola won in 13 local government areas of the state to come second in the election.
After his opponent was declared the winner, the governor in a statement by his Chief Press Secretary, Ismaila Omipidan, told his supporters to remain calm, saying he would respond after studying the results.
Omipidan said, “Governor Adegboyega Oyetola has taken cognisance of the results of the governorship election in the state as announced by INEC on Sunday.
“He, however, noted that the party would be responding appropriately after studying the results and consulting with critical stakeholders of the party.”
But a member of Oyetola’s legal team, Kunle Adegoke (SAN), told The Punch on Tuesday that they were still reviewing the results declared by INEC.
He said, “We are still reviewing documents and the legal team is actually working. In an election of this nature, the documents will be so many; so it is important to look at them critically before we make a decision and that is exactly what we are working on right now.
“Dr Biodun Layonu (SAN), is the leader of the team. The legal team is not complete yet because there are so many others that will still come in.
“In the meantime, the two members of the legal team we can reveal are Dr Biodum Layonu and Kunle Adegoke. Others that may come in are people we may not know but as soon as we are ready to move, we will notify the press.
“The membership can’t be determined as many lawyers are interested in joining the team. You know election petition is a special case. So, we allow as many lawyers that are interested to come in. We may run into 50 or more members.”
Commenting on moves by the governor to contest the poll outcome at the election petition tribunal, the Media Adviser to the APC chairman in Osun State, Kola Olabisi, said whatever position was taken by Oyetola on the outcome of the election would also be the stand of the party.