This is the response of the purported illegal action taken by Sotayo Johnson Ismail before the Electoral Tribunal sitting in Abeokuta challenging the authentic electoral victory of Honorable Yusuf Temitope Adejojo of APC, the honorable-elect for Abeokuta state constituency one in the 9th March State Assembly Elections.
While it cannot be denied that any aggrieved contestant or loser of elections may seek redress at the Tribunal.
But where do we place the seemingly redress of Sotayo Johnson Ismail? First, a petition was written to INEC on 2nd March, 2019 (a week before OGHA elections) titled: a call for the disqualification of Sotayo Johnson Ismail on dual candidacy.
In that letter, (which is herein attached) it was posited that Sotayo Johnson Ismail obtained the nomination form of two registered political parties (DPP) with some of his personal details deliberately altered to accommodate his act of illegality
He finally decided to run on the platform of the APM but his supporters in the other/first political party (DPP) still voted him because he was their party candidate too.
In that petition to INEC, the appeal was that Sotayo Johnson Ismail should be disqualified on the ground of dual candidacy but INEC has not granted the prayer of the petition
While that petition awaits the desired response from INEC, Sotayo Johnson Ismail was caught up in another illegal web: he was caught and arrested by the officials of EFCC on Saturday, 9th March, 2019 at Ijaiye area of Abeokuta for vote buying. The operatives of the anti-graft agency caught him with about Two Million Naira arranged in envelopes at his ward.
The Editorials (two Nigerian Dailies published the news) are herein attached.
The big questions which this letter seeks answers for are:
1. Does the Nigerian constitution and the Electoral Act give room for a candidate to belong to the two Political Party at the same time and contest election on the platform of the two registered political parties? For INEC released Mr. Sotayo Johnson Ismail’s name as candidate for both APM and DPP!
2. When has vote buying been legalized in Nigeria? If vote buying is still a very grievous electoral offence, why then has Mr. Sotayo Johnson not been made to squarely face the law of the land which criminalizes vote buying?
3. What moral and constitutional ground does Mr. Sotayo Johnson Ismail has to challenge Honorable Yusuf Temitope Adejojo’s election victory, as the Honorable-elect of Abeokuta South Constituency one?
In the first instance, he ought to have been disqualified from contesting the election.
And to us at APC, Abeokuta South Constituency one, he stands disqualified because he is not a candidate of any party in the very first place.
In the second analysis, he was caught in the broad day light buying votes. Did anyone require the service of any legal luminary to interpret his action as anti-democracy which is punishable by existing laws of our country?
Our stand, therefore, is that Mr. Sotayo Johnson Ismail should be prosecuted for the crimes of dual candidacy and vote buying. More so, his ostensible petition at the Electoral Tribunal sitting in Abeokuta challenging the victory of Honorable Yusuf Temitope Adejojo at the polls should be struck out for lack of merit and substance.
We call on the appropriate authority to please act accordingly.
SIGNED BY CONCERNED YOUTH ABEOKUTA SOUTH