Ogun guber: Lawyers demand review of Abiodun's victory - NEWS FRONTIER DAILY


Tuesday, March 21, 2023

Ogun guber: Lawyers demand review of Abiodun's victory

By Peter Adedoyin

A group of lawyers, under the aegis of 'Concerned Indigenes of Ogun State' (CIOS) has given the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) six days ultimatum to review the declaration of the governorship candidate of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Dapo Abiodun as the winner of Saturday's election in the State.

The group issued the ultimatum in an open petition to INEC, saying the declaration of Abiodun was against the requirements and provisions of the electoral act.

INEC had on Sunday declared Abiodun the winner of
the election after polling 276,298 votes, while Ladi Adebutu of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) scored 262,383 votes to come second.

Addressing newsmen in Abeokuta, the state capital, Coordinator of the group, Femi Oniyide alleged that, the election was fraught with violence, manipulation and irregularities.

According to him, election results from 100 polling units in 14 local government areas of the State were either cancelled or election not held due to violence and BVAS malfunctioning.

He alleged that, "31,000 voters were disenfranchised due to violence, ballot box snatching and burning of ballot papers with non use of BVAS."

Oniyide said, the State Returning Officer, Prof. Kayode Adebowale acted with impunity by not obeying the law guiding the declaration of a candidate as the winner of an election.

According to him, "the margin between the votes of the APC candidate and the voters disenfranchised through cancellation is so huge and should not have been overlooked by the presiding officer."

He said, the Returning Officer should have declared the election inconclusive in line with Section 24 subsections 3, 4 and 5 of the electoral act, 2022.

Oniyide said, "We demand by this open petition, that INEC should within six days from today, the 21st of March, 2023 review the ultra vires declaration and return of Professor Kayode Adebowale, the Returning Officer in the governorship election of Ogun State made on Sunday, the 19th of March, 2023 against the requirements and provisions of the Electoral Act, 2022.

"This brazen act of impunity by the Returning Officer must not be allowed to stay. We must not let the present mantra in our election vocabulary of 'Go to Court' become a revolving evil genie that may truncate our hard earned democracy.

"Due process must be followed in that fairness and justice must be seen to be done on the part of INEC, before our people lose trust in our democracy.

"We hereby plead with INEC not to allow politicians destroy our democracy and our judiciary. We cannot afford to put our judges at the brutish end of our election process.

"We should not allow our legal system and our courts to become the butt of jokes and derision, lest the common man lose trust and resort to the rules of the jungle and anarchy in demanding due process.

"We plead, that INEC should not let our elections be turned to periods of war, in which whoever can unleash the greatest violence and bloodshed shall be declared the winner of an election."

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