The National Assembly Election Petition Tribunal sitting in Abeokuta has nullified the election of Hon. Kolapo Osunsanya representing Ijebu Central Federal Constituency in the House of Representatives.
The tribunal’s Chairman, Justice Wakkil Gana, declared the election inconclusive on Monday.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) had declared Osunsanya of the All Progressives Congress (APC) winner of the Feb. 23 poll in the constituency.
But the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) candidate in the poll, Taiwo Shote, had challenged the declaration before the tribunal.
Gana, in his judgement, noted that the elections were cancelled in Ward 5, Unit 5 of Ijebu Ode council area; Ward 10, Unit 3 in Odogbolu council area and the entire Ward 8 of Ijebu /North – East council area of the federal constituency.
He maintained that since the margin of lead between the petitioner, Shote, and the 1st respondent, Osunsanya, was less than 4,000 while the total number of cancelled votes in the affected areas was 8,800, INEC should not have declared Osunsanya the winner of the poll.
Gana held that INEC should have declared the election inconclusive and organised a rerun election in the affected areas.
He declared that Osunsanya was not duly elected and ordered that a rerun should be conducted within 90 days in the affected wards and units.
In his reaction, Shote described the judgement as victory for the rule of law.
“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 the good people of the feferal constituency.
” I thank God and the good people of Ijebu Federal Constituency comprising of Ijebu-Ode, Ijebu/ North- East and Odogbolu local government areas for their unflinching support thus far, and I promise not to disappoint them,” he said.
Osunsanya, however, declined to comment on the judgment. (NAN)