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Thursday, 28 March 2019

Aregbesola Reacts to Osun Governorship Election Tribunal Judgement



The immidiate past governor of Osun State, Ogbeni Rauf Adesoji Aregbesola has reacted to the judgment of the Election Petition Tribunal which nullified the election of Governor Gboyega Oyetola, last Friday.

Aregbosola who expressed shock over the judgement said the tribunal’s verdict will not stand.

In a statement Wednesday night by his Media Adviser, Mr. Sola Fasure, Aregbesola said: “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!”

“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.”

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