Nigeria: Uncertainty over Osun election re-run as PDP challenges INEC in court
London, September 24, 2018 (AltAfrica)-The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) says it is heading to the court to quash the declaration of the September 22, Osun governorship election as inconclusive by the Independent National Electoral Commission (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 centres, 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.