PDP heads to court over Osun guber election

The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) said it would challenge the decision of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to declare last Saturday’s Osun governorship election inconclusive in court.

The party also demanded arrest of the Returning Officer for the election, Prof. Joseph Fuwape, for allegedly succumbing to pressure by the APC and declaring “a decided election” as inconclusive.

The party insisted that the polls had been concluded and results announced in all polling and the collation centres across the state, thus bringing the exercise to its lawful conclusion thus, denying the electoral umpire powers to declare same inconclusive.

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,” PDP added.

Citing section 69 of the Electoral Act 2010 (as amended), the party noted that the Act 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.”

It further stated that section 179 (2), (a) (b) of the constitution also 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.”

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

“It is completely ludicrous, that INEC and the APC are now attempting to divert the narrative from the substance of the election by making outlandish allegations against the PDP and lobbying Civil Society Organizations and Electoral Observers to validate their illegality.

“Even if the Osun governorship election is conducted over and over again, the PDP will still win as the people of the state have chosen the PDP and its candidate, Senator Ademola Adeleke. Nevertheless, we insist that the September 22, 2018 election, under our laws, is conclusive and our candidate must be declared winner,” it added.

“We demand that INEC Chairman, Prof. Mahmood Yakubu immediately summon the courage to do the needful by declaring our candidate, Senator Ademola Adeleke, as winner,” the party said.

Also former Governor of Osun State, Prince Olagunsoye Oyinlola, has called on the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to declare the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) gubernatorial candidate, Ademola Adeleke, as the winner of the governorship election held on Saturday.

After collation of valid votes, Adeleke was ahead of the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) candidate Gboyega Oyetola with a difference of 353 votes. APC polled 254,345 while PDP had 254,698 votes. A rerun has been scheduled for Thursday, September 27.

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