Tribunal orders re-run election for Saki West Constituency in Oyo
On Thursday, the National and State Assembly Election Petition Tribunal in Oyo State ordered a re-run election for the Saki West state constituency.
INEC had earlier declared Shittu Ibrahim of the All Peoples Congress (APC) as the winner of the election held on March 18.
It declared that Mr Ibrahim scored 13,692 votes to defeat the candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Julius Okedoyin, who scored 13,422.
Dissatisfied with the declaration, Mr Okedoyin and the PDP headed to the tribunal, alleging over-voting, irregularity and non-compliance with electoral guidelines.
Delivering 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.
Mr Anaja ruled that cancelling results from Ward 6 Unit 7 and Ward 11 Unit 19 of the constituency, with 1,285 voter cards collected, could substantially affect the election outcome.
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 overturned 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,’’ Mr Anaja declared.
Reacting, Mr Ibrahim’s counsel, Sikiru Adewoye, said his client would appeal against the tribunal’s judgment.
Conversely, the petitioners’ counsel, Yusuf Ogunrinde, commended the tribunal.
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