The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and its candidate in the August 9, 2014 governorship election in Osun State, Senator Iyiola Omisore, are in trouble over alleged failed attempt to bribe the election petition tribunal that just wound down its sitting in the state. The party reportedly dangled a N5billion carrot before the members of the tribunal if they would declare Senator Omisore the winner.
Reliable sources close to the party and the tribunal members informed that the party in its inordinate bid to clinch the coveted governorship prize made desperate attempts to bribe the tribunal members seeing that its case fell apart during hearing. From the tribunal’s proceeding,
PDP was able to provide witness for only seven percent of the over 900 polling units where it claimed irregularities had occurred. This in essence means that they have failed woefully to prove their case. Even the forensic experts they called presented contradictory evidence at the Tribunal with one going outside his area of assignment.
Our sources further informed that the Ile-Ife born politician had given up on the petition, seeing that it is a futile attempt and his reason for going to the tribunal in the first place was that he did not want to lose face before his supporters to whom he had boasted that he would win the governorship election at all cost.
But he has now come under tremendous pressure from Abuja to win the case at all cost. Since the tribunal had to deliver its judgement on or before 10th February, 2015 in order to fulfil the mandatory maximum 180 days allowed for petition after election, the game plan in Abuja is that a victory for Omisore shortly before the election would open the door to the southwest for President Goodluck Jonathan, who many had predicted, will lose woefully to General Muhammadu Buhari, in the region, in the February 14 presidential election.
A twist to the tale is that Omisore and the party chairman in the state, Alhaji Gani Olaoluwa, are presently not in good terms. The chairman has been accused by the Omisore camp of robbing the party blind. He too in turn has made effort to expel Diran Odeyemi who is Omisore’s aide and the party’s Director of Media and Publicity from the party.
OlaOluwa has for reason of the feud sworn never to help Omisore again. Abuja therefore allegedly had to send a high powered delegation to the tribunal members led by a former minister from the state. The delegation was allegedly rebuffed by the tribunal chairman on the ground that Omisore’s case is very bad and that even if she were to grant his prayers that elections be nullified in the 900 polling units he is contesting, Governor Rauf Aregbesola still has more votes than him.
The tribunal chairman further averred that Osun is famous for swallowing corrupt judges and she would not like all the years of service she gave to the Judiciary go down the drain.
When the alleged N3 billion offer could not sway the tribunal members, the delegation allegedly offered them a blank cheque but they still refused. The tribunal then warned the delegation to stop making overtures to them or they would be forced to go public with the story.
We are also informed that PDP has allegedly handed the matter to the state governors of the tribunal members who are from Benue, Niger and Delta States to pressure them into declaring Omisore the winner. This is why the tribunal members allegedly refused to go home for Christmas and the New Year holiday.