Barring any last-minute change in decision, INEC will later this afternoon declare Saturday’s governorship election in Osun State inconclusive.
Sources close to the electoral body also said election officials were already considering a date for a re-run between the two leading candidates – Ademola Adeleke of the PDP and Gboyega Oyetola of the APC.
One official said Thursday this week was being strongly considered, but we are yet to independently confirm that.
The election held across the state on Saturday to replace incumbent Rauf Aregbesola, whose tenure is ending.
But at the final reconciliation of all results from the 30 local government areas on the state on Sunday morning, Mr Adeleke scored 254,698 votes while Mr Oyetola scored 254,345.
INEC officials are now saying that the margin of victory between Messrs Adeleke and Oyetola – 354 votes – is far lower than the number of voided ballots, put above 3000.
INEC’s election guideline made pursuant to Section 153 of the Electoral Act stipulates a re-run if the margin of victory in an election is lower than cancelled votes.
In that case, rerun will hold in areas where elections were cancelled.
The Adeleke campaign organisation has however appealed to INEC not to declare the election inconclusive.
A statement sent to PREMIUM TIMES by the Director of Publicity of the campaign, Olawale Rasheed, said, “Our attention has been drawn to reports of an alleged plan to declare the Osun governorship election inconclusive as a plot to order a re-run.
“We appeal to INEC to toe the path of honour and constitutionality by declaring the rightful candidate with required votes and spread ,Ademola Adeleke, the winner of this hotly contested polls.
“We note with high sense of responsibility the intense pressure sunrounding Osun election from the begining.There are times however when one must stands with the people and the law by doing the right thing without fear of favour.
“Now is the time for INEC to align with Osun people and resist pressure and intimidation to tamper with the will of the people.
“Osun people are expectant of a liberation day which is today when their yearnings to be free will be fulfilled.Delaying the announcement of the results or doctoring the outcome is an invitation to people’s anger and wrath.
“We urge people of goodwill locally and internationally to prevail on the APC and her chieftains to conced defeat.Our democracy is too stressed up to be subjected to another daylight electoral robbery.
“We reject plan and plot for re-run;a winner has clearly emerged.To INEC chiefs,time is now to announce Senator Nurudeen Ademola as the winner of this historic election.”
BELOW IS OUR EARLIER REPORT ON THIS DEVELOPMENT
A re-run will be declared for the Osun State governorship election due to the margin of victory between the two leading candidates, PREMIUM TIMES has learnt.
The election, one of the closest in Nigeria’s electoral history, was held on Saturday to elect a new governor for the South-Western state.
At the end of collation of results, Ademola Adeleke of the PDP won majority votes of about 254,698 while Gboyega Oyetola of the APC came a close second with 254,345 votes.
According to electoral rules, a re-run election can be so declared if the margin of victory in an election is lower than cancelled votes, such as in Osun where thousands of votes were cancelled in various local governments while the vote difference between the leading candidates was less than a thousand. In that case, rerun will be held in only affected areas where elections were cancelled.
INEC is expected to formally announce the rerun any moment from now, PREMIUM TIMES learnt from senior officials of the agency, while Thursday is being considered for the rerun.
More details later…