The opposition Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), has rejected the Independent National Electoral Commission’s declaration of Saturday’s governorship election in Osun state as inconclusive.
Announcing the results at the INEC collation centre in Osogbo, the Osun state capital, the Returning Officer of the Commission, Professor Adeola Fuwape, said the opposition Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) scored 254,698 votes while ruling All Progressives Party (APC) scored 254,345 votes.
AN24 understands that they were also cases of card reader malfunctioning, ballot box snatching, among others, which led to the cancellation of 3,498 votes recorded in the affected polling units.
The Returning Officer, who is the Vice-Chancellor of the Federal University of Technology, Akure, explained that the total registered voters in the five polling units where elections were cancelled are 3,498 votes.
The affected local government areas are Orolu, Ife North, Ife South and Osogbo, the state capital.
Since that figure was higher than the difference between the votes of the leading candidates, Fuwape said a rerun election had to be conducted.
“Unfortunately as the returning officer, it’s not possible to declare anybody as the clear winner of the election on the first ballot,” Fuwape said.
Reacting to the declaration in a statement issued by its spokesperson, Kola Ologbondiyan, the PDP said the process was conclusive and that its candidate, Senator Adeleke was in the clear lead and should be immediately declared the winner by INEC, having met the requirements of the 1999 Constitution (as amended).
PDP said Section 179 (2) (a)(b) of the 1999 Constitution, (as amended), was clear and very unambiguous in spelling out the conditions for returning a candidate to the office of governor of a state.
He said, “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 main opposition party said that the declaration by INEC of the election as inconclusive was a “sordid robbery” of the franchise of the people of Osun, who participated in the election.