Oluseye Ojo, Ibadan
The All Progressives Congress (APC) in Oyo State has submitted a petition to the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) against the governorship candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Mr. Seyi Makinde, demanding his arrest and prosecution over a video clip.
The petition, titled “Petition Against Engr. Seyi Makinde on Electoral Offences Committed in Breach of Electoral Laws,” was submitted on Sunday when announcement of results of the governorship poll was under way at the state office of the electoral umpire in Agodi, Ibadan.
The petition, signed by the APC state secretary, Mr. Mojeed Olaoya, read in part: “We wish to bring to your attention the release of a video by the PDP gubernatorial candidate in Oyo State, Engr. Seyi Makinde, in the early hours of Sunday, March 10, 2019.
“In the video, Engr. Seyi Makinde proclaimed himself winner of the governorship election in Oyo State when INEC, the authorised umpire had not concluded same nor declared any such results.
“In the said video broadcast to the citizenry of Oyo State and the whole world, Mr. Makinde proclaimed and declared himself as the winner of the yet-to-be concluded election, thus already inciting the populace against the popular will of the people, as may be eventually declared by INEC when the final results are released.
“This is a most unconscionable act and an attempt to blackmail INEC and lawful authorities against the popular will that may be expressed in the final INEC results. Mr. Makinde, by his illegal broadcast, has by this proclamation rendered himself liable to being prosecuted by your office for this electoral offence tantamount to a flagrant abuse of the electoral laws of the Federal Republic of Nigeria and INEC guidelines for elections and possibly for treason against the Federal Republic of Nigeria.
“By the unconscionable broadcast by Mr. Seyi Makinde, he is clearly inciting the citizenry against an eventual credible outcome of the elections which may be contrary to his selfishly proclaimed victory, when he lacks the lawful authority and vires to do so.
“We are by this petition formally demanding the immediate arrest and prosecution of Mr. Seyi Makinde for this grave offence. We trust you will act urgently and timeously to forestall any breakdown of law and order in the state.”
In his reaction, the director-general of Omi Tuntun Campaign Organisation, Prince Dotun Oyelade of the PDP, said the 45-second video did not lead to any form of violence as being claimed by the APC, adding that Makinde only did what any peace-loving, law-abiding candidate would do to ward off violence in his domain.
Oyelade said, “In the first place, there was no breakdown of law and order traceable to the 45 seconds video by our candidate. The violence that ensued was directly linked to the complainants. Our candidate did what any peace-loving, law-abiding candidate would do to ward off violence from his domain.”
He quoted Makinde to have said his people have spoken and that their voices have been loud and clear, asking: “What is offensive in that? Let them look for another ridiculous excuse.”