PDP goes to court over Osun poll

By NewVoice Correspondent

The Peoples Democratic Party, PDP has taken the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC to court over the conduct of last Saturday governorship election in Osun State.
The party has also called for the immediate arrest of the returning officer in the election for “succumbing to pressure” from the ruling APC.

PDP goes to court over Osun poll 1

Not comfortable with the announcement by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) on the Osun State poll as inconclusive, the PDP said it will sue the electoral commission.

The PDP had led with 353 votes, and the returning officer, Professor Joseph Fuwape, had announced that a re-run would be done in seven polling units following incidents of more than 3,000 cancelled votes.

In a statement signed by Kola Ologbondiyan, PDP National Publicity Secretary, on Monday, the party maintained that election results had been announced in all polling units, thus bringing the exercise to its lawful conclusion.

The party also accused the All Progressives Congress (APC) and INEC of “attempting to divert the narrative by making outlandish allegations against the PDP and lobbying civil society organisations and electoral observers to validate their illegality”.

The statement continued: “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 APC, contravened the law by refusing to announce a return, even when the declared results have thrown up a winner”.

PDP defended its stance with Section 69 of the electoral law stating that: “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.”

The party also mentioned that its candidate, Isiaka Adeleke, won the election “according to Section 179 (2), (a) (b) of the constitution, which states that: (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 party insisted that INEC announcement of the election as inconclusive is “totally duplicitous, constitutionally illegal, ultra-vires”, and asked that its candidate be declared winner of the election.

PDP also called for the immediate arrest of the returning officer for giving in to pressure from the ruling APC.

The statement continued: “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”.

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