The inclusion of Justice J.O.K Oyewole as member of the Osun State governorship election appeal panel has been rejected by the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP).
The PDP said its position was predicated on the grounds that Justice Oyewole allegedly has strong connections with the All Progressives Congress (APC), which is an interested party in the appeal and cannot be neutral.
Addressing a press conference on Tuesday in Abuja, the PDP National Publicity Secretary, Kola Ologbondiyan, said the party had already petitioned the President of the Court of Appeal to replace Justice Oyewole with another Justice of the Appeal Court who has no link with Osun or the APC.
According to Ologbondiyan, there was “clear likelihood” of Justice Oyewole being biased against the PDP and its candidate, Senator Ademola Adeleke in the appeal.
He also said, “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.”