• Sunday, February 25, 2024
businessday logo

BusinessDay

Re-Run: Election peaceful in two polling units in Saki West LG

By-election: Accreditation, voting commenced in Surulere constituency 1

The re-run election into the two polling units, Odo-Osun and Ogbalanja in Saki West local government area of Oyo State were peaceful as voters trooped out in numbers to exercise their franchise.

Voters were seen queing up to cast their votes as combined security personnel were on ground to maintain law and order.

The security agencies manned strategic areas within the two polling units to prevent any incidents of violence or disruption.

This is coming despite the harmattan with many voters were wrapped in scarves and heavy coats, but remained resolute to exercise their voting rights.

The voters expressed gratitude for the presence of security personnel, saying it made them feel more secured about participating in the democratic process.

Adeniran Tella, the Resident Electoral Commissioner, REC, alongside the state’s Commissioner of Police, Adebola Hamzat visited the two polling stations

Tella commended the conduct of the exercise saying that the re-run was as a result of a court order that over two hundred voters who were unable to vote during the general election cannot be disfranchised as well as over voting in one of the polling stations.

The National and State Assembly Election Petition Tribunal for Oyo State ordered the re-run election for Saki West state constituency.

But INEC had earlier declared Shittu Ibrahim of the All Peoples Congress (APC) as winner of the election held on March 18.

It declared that Ibrahim scored 13,692 votes to defeat the candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Julius Okedoyin, who scored 13,422 votes.

Okedoyin and the PDP disastified approached the tribunal alleging over-voting, irregularity and non-compliance with electoral guidelines.

However in a unanimous ruling of the three-man panel, its chairman, Justice Jubril Anaja, held that the petition had merit and that the petitioners proved their allegations beyond reasonable doubt.

Anaja ruled that the cancellation of results from Ward 6 Unit 7 and Ward 11 Unit 19 of the constituency with 1,285 voter cards collected, could substantially affect the outcome of the election.

The tribunal noted that whereas the declared winner led the petitioner by 270 votes in Ward 6, Unit 7 and Ward 11, Unit 19, the number of voters disenfranchised was more than 1,000.

It held that the more than 1,000 voters disenfranchised by INEC in the affected wards might have over-turned the result if they were allowed to vote.

“The certificate of return issued to the first respondent (Ibrahim) by INEC is hereby set aside pending the re-run election to determine the winner of the election for Saki West constituency.

“INEC is hereby ordered to conduct a re-run election in Ward 6, Unit 7 and Ward 11, unit 19 within 90 days,’’