Sunday, September 23, 2018

Osun Re-run: What PDP Should Do – Lawyer

Inibehe Effiong, a Human Right Activist, has advised the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) on what to do in the face of the recent inconclusive election in Osun State.

Citing closeness in votes margin at cancelled polling units, the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) declared the governorship election in the state inconclusive.

Some Nigeria and the PDP are tackling INEC over perceived political partisanship. Among them is, Bukola Saraki, Senate President, who advised the opposition party to seek redress in court.

But commenting on the development, Mr Effiong said though the PDP had the right to challenge the declaration legally, nothing good will come out of it.

“Can PDP challenge the decision of INEC? They can, but nothing will come out of it going by the reasons given by the Commission. PDP should prepare for the rerun and not dissipate energy and resources on fruitless legal niceties,” Mr Effiong advised the party on Sunday.

Effiong advised the 48 political parties involved in the election to beam focus and be ready for the supplementary election because the apex court in the land has never nullified election.

“Rather than dissipate energy on legality of the decision of INEC to declare Osun election inconclusive, the parties should prepare for the re-run. The Supreme Court has never nullified an election. Re-run, though a creation of INEC Guidelines, has been validated by the Courts.

“In terms of Section 179 of the Constitution, Senator Adeleke ought to be declared as the governor of Osun State. But INEC Guidelines empowers the Commission to declare election inconclusive where the margin between the winner and 1st runner-up is lesser than cancelled votes.

“Recent guber elections in Abia, Kogi, Bayelsa, INEC declared the elections inconclusive despite the emergence of a winner. In Abia, the Court of Appeal said INEC cannot do so when a winner has emerged but the Supreme Court gave judicial approval for re-run/inconclusive elections.

“2015 INEC Guidelines, pages 22 – 23, Paragraph 4, Section N issued pursuant to Section 153 of the Electoral Act, 2010 (as amended) empowers INEC to declare election inconclusive where the margin of victory is less than the number of registered voters in cancelled Polling Units.

“Under our current electoral jurisprudence, everything is against the Petitioner,” the legal practitioner said on his Facebook Timeline.

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