By Raymond Osho
ABEOKUTA: The National Assembly Election Petition Tribunal sitting in Isabo, Abeokuta on Monday September, 9, 2019 invalidated the election of Kolapo Korede Osunsanya, representing Ijebu Central Federal Constituency in the House of Representatives.
Osunsanya emerged on the platform All Progressives Congress (APC) in the February 23, 2019 General Elections.
A petition had been filed by the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) candidate, Barrister Taiwo Shote, challenging Osunsanya’s declaration as winner of the election by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC).
The Honourable Justice Wakkil Alkali Gana-led election petition tribunal cancelled the 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 Federal Constituency.
According to the tribunal’s judgment, 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.
The Tribunal blamed the INEC, saying that the Commission should have declared the election inconclusive and held a rerun in the affected wards and polling units.
The tribunal however 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 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.
Shote, who reacted to the judgement described it as a victory for the rule of law, saying that justice has come to play.
His words: “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 promised not to disappoint them,” he submitted.