The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) has kicked against the membership of Justice J.O Oyewole on the Court of Appeal panel that would hear the appeal of Osun State Governor, Mr Gboyega Oyetola of the All Progressive Congress (APC) challenging the decision of the Osun State Governorship Elections Petition Tribunal to declare the Senator Ademola Adeleke winner of the September 2018 governorship election.
The Court of Appeal in a notice to the counsel of the PDP and APC had slated Wednesday for hearing into the appeal filed by Oyetola and APC against the tribunal judgement.
The national publicity secretary of PDP, Mr Kola Ologodiyan in a statement rejecting the inclusion of Justice Oyewole stated that aside the fact that he is from Osun State, the judge also served in Lagos High Court during the administration of Mr Bola Tinubu as governor.
According to him, Tinubu and Oyewole have strong ties which would make it difficult to treat the appeal with the fairness it deserves.
The party which said it has petitioned the President of the Court of Appeal asking for the removal of Oyewole from the panel said justice must not only be done but see to be done.
“Our grounds of objection against Justice Oyewole’s membership of the appeal panel are as follows:
“Hon. Justice Oyewole (JCA) is an indigene of Osun State and he had served as a High Court Judge of Lagos State and had thus served under the administration of Senator Ahmed Bola Tinubu, (the national leader of the APC) while he (Tinubu) was the governor of Lagos State.
“When the seat of the Chief Judge of Osun State became vacant, some years back, upon the retirement of Hon. Justice G.O Ojo, Senator Ahmed Bola Tinubu insisted on having his anointed candidate, Hon Justice J.O.K Oyewole, on the Judiciary of Osun State at all cost.
“It will be recalled that it took the courageous intervention of the then Chief Justice of Nigeria (CJN), Justice Aloma Murktar to prevail that the most senior judge of Osun state judiciary should be so appointed.
“When a seat became vacant at the Court of Appeal, the name of Hon. Justice Oyewole was pushed forward by Senator Tinubu, using the slot of Osun State and thus, Justice Oyewole became Justice of the Court of Appeal.
“It is, therefore, a fact known to us and members of the public that Hon. Justice Oyewole has a strong connection with the APC and its leader, Senator Ahmed Tinubu. As such he should not sit as a panel member for a governorship election dispute between the PDP and the APC.”
The party said Mr Oyewole is from Osun state and ”the instant appeal is over the decision of the Osun State Governorship Tribunal.”
“Given his connections with the APC, it will be most unsafe to allow Hon. Justice J.O.K Oyewole to sit on the appeal panel. We are not assured that justice will be done with Hon. Justice J.O.K Oyewole as a member of the Panel.
“As a party, we do not have confidence in Hon. Justice J.O.K Oyewole. So the PDP vehemently objects to his inclusion, as he is likely to be biased against our party and our candidate, Senator Ademola Adeleke.”