The Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, on Sunday declared the governorship election held in Osun state on Saturday inconclusive.
Meanwhile, INEC has fixed Thursday, September 27th, 2018 as election rerun day for all the 48 political parties who participated in the inconclusive poll.
Candidate of the People’s Democratic Party, Senator Ademola Adeleke had polled 254,698 votes while the first runner-up, candidate of the ruling All Progressives Congress, Alhaji Gboyega Oyetola got 254,345 votes as announced by the Returning Officer of INEC, Prof. Joseph Uwakwe.
The Social Democratic Party’s candidate polled 128,49 to clinch third position.
Adeleke defeated Oyetola with 353 votes margin to clinch first position but Uwakwe declared the ballot as inconclusive on the basis that the margin (353) is less than the number of registered voters – 3,498- in the three local government areas of the state where elections were cancelled – Ife North, Ife South and Orolu local government areas.
While announcing the final results of the peacefully but keenly contested election on Sunday afternoon at the headquarters of INEC in Osogbo, Prof Uwakwe said “we had issues in some polling units. There are some problems of ballot boxes snatching. 393 bites were cancelled at Orolu local government area.
“Also, 387 votes were cancelled. There were 167 registered voters in Area 9, unit 003 in Orolu while there were 947 registered voters at Ife South. There were also cancellation of elections due to card reader malfunctioning at unit 010. There are 502 registered voters at Oyere 2 in Ife North local government and election was also cancelled there. 51 voters were accredited with the card reader but there were 200 votes that were cast. So the total number of registered votes at the polling units cancelled are 3,498.
“You will recall that early this morning (Sunday morning), we presented reasons why a candidate should be returned or why a candidate may not be returned. Where the margin of a leading candidate is less than the number of the registered voters in the cancelled areas, candidate may not be returned.
“The difference between the two leading political parties (PDP and APC) is 353 while the number of registered voters in the 7 pollings units that were cancelled in Ife North, Ife South and Orolu local government areas is 3,498. To this effect, it’s not possible to declare any party as the clear winner of this election on the first ballot.
“I must commend the people of this state for the peaceful conduct. I therefore declare this election inconclusive. iNEC will announce a new date for another ballot,” the Returning Officer said.
Meanwhile, INEC National Commissione for southwest states of Osun, Oyo and Ekiti, Solomon Soyebi informed informed party agents present at the commission’s collation centre that a new election would hold in the seven polling units of Ife North, Ife South and Orolu local government areas where elections were cancelled on Thursday, September 27.
Soyebi said campaign activities were expected to end on Wednesday, September 26.
He said all the 48 political parties would participate in the rerun.
Our correspondent gathered that INEC decision to declare the election inconclusive was predicated on the Electoral Act 2010 as Amended.
Meanwhile, the leadership of the PDP in Osun state has kicked against the decision of INEC.
Adagunodo described the decision of INEC as “a daylight robbery.”
The party chairman, Hon. Soji Adagunodo who was at the collation accused INEC of being bias.
Recall that the party agent of PDP had raised an objection to the results announced by the returning officer of Ayedaade Local Government where the party alleged that 1,000 votes were deducted from its scores.
Also, an officer of INEC was arrested by the police on Sunday for allegedly removing the result sheet pasted on the wall of the Commisson’s office in Gbongan on the order form a supervisor INEC officer.
Meanwhile, there was palpable tension across the state after the news broke that INEC declared then poll inconclusive as some members of PDP protested the development.
TIMOTHY AGBOR, OSOGBO