One of the opposition parties, the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), has insisted that the Vice Chancellor of the University of Ibadan, Oyo State, Prof Kayode Adebowale, cannot serve as a returning officer in the forthcoming governorship election in Osun State.
The party, while rejecting the appointment of Adebowale as the returning officer for the July 16 gubernatorial election in the state by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), alleged that the academia was affiliated to the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC).
The PDP said that the VC’s sincerity in the election is hence not assured.
The Chairman of the Legal Committee of the Senator Ademola Adeleke Campaign Organisation, Niyi Owolade, argued that Adebowale was an APC appointee under the John Oyegun-led Council.
Owolade further alleged that Adebowale had been “part of Ekiti APC campaign on more than five occasions.”
According to Owolade, “It would therefore be unfair to the mantra of free and fair election for such a figure with close affinity to the APC to be appointed State Returning Officer for the July 16 elections.
“Prof Adebowale is not just an appointee of Oyegun-led Council, he is clearly a member of the inner circles of APC going by his recent activities. It is particularly troubling that the Vice Chancellor was part of Ekiti APC campaign on more than five occasions. He was specifically very close to the family of the Ekiti Governor-elect before and during the campaigns.
“We therefore call on the National Chairman of INEC, Prof Mahmood Yakubu to urgently withdraw the appointment of Prof Adebowale and appoint a new neutral Returning Officer for the Osun poll. We warn that we will not allow an APC sympathiser to superintend over the Osun election as was the case in 2018.”
But responding to the PDP’s claims, the APC Chairman in Osun, Gboyega Famoodun, described the allegations as baseless, saying that the general public should disregard the claims.
According to a statement by Famoodun’s Aide, “The PDP’s position is not new. They are used to it. It is an indication that they are not prepared for the governorship election in Osun State as any serious political organisation won’t object to that kind of arrangement. It is like a sinking person desperately looking for a straw to hold on to.
“They should better engage in ventures that will portray them as a serious entity.
“Also in 2018, the same PDP kicked against the then REC, Mr Segun Agbaje to the extent that the INEC commissioner vowed that he would quit if the then Osun elections were found to be fraudulent. At the end of the day, the Supreme Court vindicated us.”