- The judgment of the Osun state election petitions tribunal in Abuja which pronounced Ademola Adeleke the winner of September 22, 2018 governorship election has been condemned
- Rauf Aregbesola, former state governor, described the judgment as very strange and unknown to law
- According to Aregbesola, the tribunal has effectively disenfranchised the legitimate voters in 17 polling units and rendered the election undemocratic
The former Osun state governor, Rauf Aregbesola, has spoken against the judgment of election petitions tribunal sitting in Abuja which pronounced candidate of the PDP, Ademola Adeleke, winner of September 22, 2018 governorship election.
Aregbesola, in a statement by his media adviser, Sola Fasure, said the judgment came to every watcher of political events in the state as a rude shock, The Nation reports.
In the statement entitled: “This judgment cannot stand,” the former governor said the people of the state and the government have the highest regards for the judiciary and would keep having high regards for the revered institution.
Aregbesola said the people rejected the majority judgment and believe that it would not stand scrutiny at the appellate court.
He lamented that the tribunal has effectively disenfranchised the legitimate voters in the 17 polling units and rendered the election undemocratic.
The statement read: “In nullifying the elections in the 17 polling units, the majority judgment predicated it on what is regarded as ‘substantial non-compliance’ with the provisions of the Electoral Act 2010. The said non-compliance, according to the judgment, borders on the failure of INEC’s appointed presiding officers to record accreditation and ballot accounting on the result forms in the 17 polling units.
“There was no evidence of any act known to render election null and void in an election petition such as over voting, non-accreditation, ballot box stuffing etc.
“This much was highlighted in the dissenting judgment of the Chairman of the Tribunal in disagreeing with the majority decision.
“It must be noted that APC and its candidate were not accused of any electoral malfeasance in the 17 polling units. Rather, INEC, a common agent of PDP and APC (and indeed, all the political parties), which neither of the parties has control over was merely accused of not complying with its manual for the election, when the presiding officers appointed for the election failed to make the entries.
“Therefore, the most relevant question one would pose here is: should the tribunal allow APC to suffer as a result of the mistakes or omissions occasioned by the INEC staff? Certainly, no!”
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“Equally shocking are the reasons advanced by the two justices. They advanced the proposition that elections in the seven polling units were cancelled by the state collation officer.
''This was not the case. There were no elections in the seven polling units, and if there was any, the onus was on the petitioners. This onus was not discharged in anyway as no results was tendered.
“The state collation officer in compliance with the margin of lead principle rightly reasoned that the outcomes of the elections could not be determined without conducting polls in the affected elections. Hence the commission’s decision to conduct supplementary elections in line with these principles.”
Earlier, Legit.ng reported that the election tribunal judgment on Osun 2018 governorship election ruled in favour of Senator Ademola Adeleke.
The three-member bench of the tribunal led by Justice Ibrahim Sirajo delivered its judgment at the Federal High Court, Apo, Abuja on Friday, March 22.
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