Independent National Electoral Commission has declared Ogun State Governor, Dapo Abiodun, the winner of Saturday’s gubernatorial election in the state.
By INEC’s declaration, Abiodun, who is the governorship candidate of the All Progressives Congress, has been reelected for a second term of four years.
But before Abiodun was announced as the winner of the poll, PDP collation agent, Sunkanmi Oyejide, warned INEC against declaring the winner for the election.
Oyejide said INEC should consider a clause in the Electoral Act (amended) which orders the commission to declare a rerun in the case of total rejected votes outnumbering the lead margin.
The PDP agent raised this observation shortly after the Sagamu collation officer, Prof. Oluwagboyega Afolabi, presented the scores of the political parties in the council.
Afolabi had announced that 15 polling units were canceled as a result of violence during the governorship election on Saturday .
But the PDP agent raised an observation against further submission of the copy of the results.
Oyejide said no fewer than 33,750 voters in Sagamu, Ijebu-Ode, Ikenne, Ijebu-North and Ogunwaterside asking the commission to look into it.
He added that his party has a petition for the commission.
While raising the objection, Yejide said, “The Electoral Act 2022, Section 24 Sub-Section three says where an election has commenced and there is reason to believe that there is or has been substantial destruction of election in a polling unit or constituency or it is impossible to continue with the election, occasioned by the threat to peace and security of electoral officials and materials, electoral officials and materials should be underlined in the case of Remo where BVAS did not function and I argued it out. The commission shall suspend the election and appoint another date for the continuation of the election or the process.
“Secondly, if we invoke the principle of lead of margin enshrined in the Electoral Act 2022, the rejected votes according to results submitted to local government by local government are far higher than the lead of margin.
“This just to inform you when you are through with your final collation and what happened is found to be true that you will know that the election shall be inconclusive and a rerun should be ordered where necessary.”
The petition titled “Petition against deliberate disenfranchisement of a large number of voters in some local governments of Ogun State,” dated March 18, 2023, was addressed to INEC National Chairman, Mahmood Yakubu.
The petition reads, “We write to remind your authority of the above-mentioned issue.
“You will recall that the Commission is aware of the level of thuggery, planned and orchestrated by the All Progressives Congress to unleash mayhem in some polling units across the state to destabilise innocent voters from freely exercising their voting rights as a result of planned and well-executed action.
“We are aware that the principle of margin of lead as established by the Commission in Section 24(3) is in effect, affected by the inability of the population greater than the reflected lead between the assumed winner of the election and the runner-up. Therefore, a re-run is appropriate to address this injustice.
“We, therefore, implore the Commission to evoke this principle and declare this election inconclusive.”
Reacting to the protest, the returning officer, Prof. Kayode Adebowale, said the complaints have already been looked into.
Adebowale said, “I have tried to check our records and I want to say that everything he said is at variance with what we have as records.
“But, if it is found to be incorrect, INEC has seven days to review its decision.”