PDP takes INEC to court over Osun poll, demands arrest of returning officer

The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) says it is heading to the court to challenge the Independent National Electoral Commission’s (INEC) declaration of Saturday’s governorship election in Osun state as inconclusive.

Kola Ologbondiyan, national publicity secretary of the PDP said this in a statement on Monday.

Ologbondiyan said the country’s electoral law is clear that once an election result is declared, INEC is bound to return a winner.

The party said the completion of voting and collation of results brought the election “to its lawful conclusion and removing INEC powers to declare the election inconclusive”.

He, therefore, demanded the immediate arrest and prosecution of Joseph Fuwape, the election returning officer, for declaring the poll as inconclusive.

“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,” the statement read.

“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.

“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.”