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Osun Election: Protesters storm INEC Office, as PDP heads to court

By News Express on 25/09/2018

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•A cross section of protesters at INEC Osun Office
•A cross section of protesters at INEC Osun Office

Protesters on Monday stormed the headquarters of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) in Osogbo, the Osun State capital, to protest against the rerun declared by the electoral body.

The protesters who were seen carrying various placards and chanting solidarity songs, demanded that the candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in the September 22 gubernatorial election, Senator Ademola Adeleke, should be declared the winner.

Some of the protesters who spoke with journalists said the mandate of the PDP candidate was stolen and must be restored for peace to reign.

They added that a rerun is a total waste of time because the people of Osun had already spoken with their votes.

The chairman of the Osun state chapter of the Conference of Registered Political Parties (CPP), Adekunle Rufai Omoaje, called on INEC to have a rethink of the decision.

He said, “INEC has no right to declare the votes concluded by the electorates as inconclusive”.

“The young and old in Osun chose Ademola Adeleke as their governor-elect. We are calling on INEC to have a rethink and declare the people’s choice as the winner”.

He added that the history of the June 12, 1993 election would not be allowed to repeat itself in the state.

INEC had declared the election inconclusive because of the cancellation of results and snatching of ballot boxes at some polling units in Ife North, Ife south, Orolu and Osogbo local government areas.

According to the electoral body, the number of cancelled votes were higher than the margin between the two top candidates.

Senator Adeleke led the race with 254,698 votes, 353 votes more than his closest rival, Gboyega Oyetola of the All Progressives Congress.

The margin was, however, less than the 3,498 votes in the polling units where voting was cancelled.

Consequently, a rerun has been scheduled to hold on Thursday 27, September 2018.

Meanwhile, PDP says it is heading to the court to quash the declaration of the election as inconclusive by INEC.

In a statement issued on Monday by its National Publicity Secretary, Kola Ologbondiyan, the PDP insisted that the polls had already been concluded and results announced in all polling units and collation centers, thus bringing the exercise to its lawful conclusion and removing INEC’s powers to declare the election inconclusive.

The statement read in part, “Our electoral law is clear that once an election result is declared, INEC is bound to return a winner.

“INEC, in trying to play the card of the defeated All Progressives Congress (APC), contravened the law by refusing to announce a return, even when the declared results have thrown up a winner.

“Section 69 of the Electoral Act 2010 (as amended) states that inter-alia “in an election to the office of the President or governor whether or not contested and in any contested election to any other elective office, the result shall be ascertained by counting the votes cast for each candidate and subject to the provisions of sections 133, 134 and 179 of the constitution, the candidate that receives the highest number of votes shall be declared elected by the appropriate Returning Officer.

“Concurrently, Section 179 (2), (a) (b) of the constitution directly prescribes that “a candidate for an election to the office of Governor of a State shall be deemed to have been duly elected where, there being two or more candidates – (a) he has the highest number of votes cast at the election; and (b) he has not less than one-quarter of all the votes cast in each of at least two-thirds of all the local government areas in the State”.

The PDP also demanded the immediate arrest and prosecution of the Returning Officer in the election, Professor Joseph Fuwape.

According to the party, by declaring the result inconclusive, Fuwape had succumbed to the pressures of the All Progressives Congress (APC).

It said, “INEC’s action in declaring a concluded election as inconclusive is therefore an annulment, totally duplicitous, constitutionally illegal, ultra-vires and as such null and void.

“The PDP therefore demands the immediate arrest and prosecution of the Osun State Governorship Election Returning Officer, Prof. Joseph Fuwape, for succumbing to the pressure of the APC and declaring a decided election as inconclusive”.

It also called on the INEC Chairman, Professor Mahmood Yakubu to immediately do the needful by declaring Senator Adeleke the winner.

•Based on Channels TV reports.

Source News Express

Posted 25/09/2018 05:28:42 AM

 


 

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