The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) is approaching the court to contend the declaration of Saturday’s governorship election in Osun as inconclusive by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC). The party disclosed this in a statement by its National Publicity Secretary, Kola Ologbondiyan, on Monday in Abuja.
According to Ologbondiyan, the Sept. 22 polls had already been concluded and results announced in all polling and the collation centers. He also stated that since the exercise was brought to its lawful conclusion, INEC powers to declare the election inconclusive was removed. He said that the country’s Electoral Law stated that once an election result was declared, INEC was bound to return 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,” Ologbondiyan stated .
The party also stated that INEC’s action in declaring a concluded election as inconclusive was therefore “an annulment, totally duplicitous, constitutionally illegal, ultra-vires and as such null and void”. Ologbondiyan also demanded immediate arrest and prosecution of the Election Returning Officer, Prof. Joseph Fuwape, for declaring the election as inconclusive. He stated: “We demand that INEC Chairman, Prof. Mahmood Yakubu immediately summon the courage to do the needful by declaring our candidate, Sen. Ademola Adeleke, as winner.
According to the statement, even if the state governorship election is conducted over and over again, the PDP will still win. It also stated that the people of the state had chosen the PDP and its candidate, Sen. Ademola Adeleke and insisted that the said election was conclusive. “Nevertheless, we insist that the September 22, 2018 election, under our laws, is conclusive and our candidate must be declared winner.