By Michael Adesanya/ Abeokuta
The National Assembly Election Petition Tribunal sitting in Abeokuta, has nullified the election of a member of House of Representatives, representing Ijebu Central federal constituency on the platform of All Progressives Congress (APC), Kolapo Korede Osunsanya.
It also ordered a rerun election in three wards of the federal constituency within 90 days.
The Ijebu Central federal constituency consists of three local government areas, namely Ijebu Ode, Ijebu North East and Odogbolu.
The Justice Wakkil Alkali Gana-led election petition tribunal canceled elections in Ward 5, Unit 5 in Ijebu Ode LGA, Ward 10, Unit 3 in Odogbolu LGA and the entire Ward 8 in Ijebu North-East LGA in the constituency .
The People’s Democratic Party (PDP) candidate, Taiwo Shote, had filed a petition challenging Osunsanya’s declaration as winner of the election declared by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) on the February 23, 2019, election.
The tribunal, in its judgement, ordered that since the margin of lead and difference between the petitioner and 1st respondent was less than 4,000 and the total number of canceled votes was 8,800, the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) ought not to have declared Osunsanya as the winner of the election in line with the provisions of the Electoral Act.
It further held that the electoral commission should have declared the election inconclusive and held a rerun in the affected wards and polling units.
Consequently, the tribunal declared that Osunsanya was not duly elected and nullified the Certificate of Return issued to him by INEC and ordered that a rerun should be conducted within 90 days.
Reacting to the judgment, Shote described it as a victory for the rule of law.
“I am very delighted at the judgment just delivered. I am happy that justice has been served. Although the wheel of justice grinds slowly, it grinds steadily and surely. It is a victory for the rule of law and good people of Ijebu Central federal constituency. I thank God and the good people of Ijebu Ode, Ijebu North East and Odogbolu local government areas for their unflinching support thus far, and I promise not to disappoint them,” he submitted.
Meanwhile, the tribunal upheld the election victories of Senator Tolu Odebiyi (APC) and Jimoh Ojugbele (APC) of Ogun West senatorial district and Ota federal constituency, respectively.