By Razaq Bamidele
The much-awaited council poll in Osun State may not hold again as a political party, the Action Alliance (AA), has threatened to stop the exercise through the court over alleged extortion by the Osun State Independent Electoral Commission (OSIEC).
It could be recalled that the OSIEC had at a recent meeting which was presided by its Chairman, Segun Oladitan, agreed with all the political parties that the local government election in the state would hold on Saturday, January 27, 2018.
It was learnt that at the meeting, the sum of N500, 000 was suggested by the Commission as administrative fee for councillorship aspirants, which was later reduced to N100,000.
But Sunday Sun learnt that the State Chairman of AA, Alhaji Adekunle Rufai Omo-Aje, reminded the Commission that in 2010 when the election was first announced, the party’s candidates had after the primaries paid the sum of N50,000 each as administrative fee.
Omo-Aje told Sunday Sun that his grouse is “the OSIEC’s inability to convince me why my party does not deserve the refund of the fees paid in 2010 for the same exercise.”
Speaking on phone yesterday, Omo-Aje, a former councillor in Ede on the platform of the defunct All Peoples Party (APP), said, “two options are open to the OSIEC; it is either the Commission refunds our money before we pay the new fees or allow us to pay the balance for the new fees.”
He added: “Our resolve to go to court is not to truncate the exercise that is very dear to the hearts of the good people of the state; rather, it is to seek for the interpretation of the law over the matter for the sake of clarity. Democracy is about the rule of law.”
Omo-Aje, who said the insinuation that the last payment was over six years ago and may not be tenable in the law court argued that, “if government is continuous and the last payment was made into the coffers of the government, the government should be able to trace the file and do the needful.” While assuring that his party would partake in the election and win well, Omo-Aje said he was going ahead with the legal option on the issue.