The Independent National Electoral Commission is said to have illegally declared Dapo Abiodun, candidate of the All Progressives Congress, winner of the 2023 gubernatorial election in Ogun state.
A lawyer, Festus Ogun said this on his Official Twitter handle on Sunday shortly after the INEC’s Returning officer, Professor Kayode Adebowale announced Abiodun as the one who polled the highest votes in the just concluded election and subsequently declared him winner.
Ogun said the declaration was not in compliance with the provision 24(2),(3),(4) and (5) of the Electoral Act, 2022, given that the total number of registered voters in the “cancelled” areas is substantial to the slim margin between Abiodun and his contender, PDP’s Ladi Adebutu.
The statement partly reads: “INEC should declare the election inconclusive and order a rerun at affected polling units at an early date. By section 24(3), the determinant factor of “substantial disruption” is a question of fact which shall be determined by the number of registered voters in the cancelled areas vis-a-vis the margin between the “winner” and “runner-up”.”
“In simple terms, since the number of registered voters in the cancelled areas are so substantial that they outweigh the slim margin between the “winner” and “runner up”, a winner cannot be announced but a rerun.”
“INEC’s declaration of DAPO Abiodun is therefore in gross violation of the Electoral Act, 2022 and the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria”
According to INEC, Abiodun polled 276,298 votes while Adebutu scaored a total of 262,383 votes. The duo were trailed behind by Africa Democratic Party’s Biyi Otegbeye who polled a total of 94,754 votes.
Ogunwatch also reports that the PDP has immediately petitioned the state INEC office asking them to withhold the election result while a rerun is conducted. However, the returning officer at the Abeokuta collation center claimed that the announcement could still go on while the agency reviews its decision in seven days.