Senator calls for cancellation of elections

Senator representing Oyo Central Senatorial district and candidate of the African Democratic Congress (ADC) in the February 23rd National Assembly election, Monsurat Sunmonu, has petitioned the Resident Electoral Commissioner (REC) in the state, Mutiu Agboke, calling for the cancellation of votes in all polling units where card readers were bypassed during the election. Sunmonu, a former Speaker of the State House of Assembly in the petition, which was also sent to the state Director of the Department of State Service and the Commissioner of Police, Sunmonu called for the arrest and prosecution of Electoral Officers, supervisory presiding officer, presiding officers at all the units where the alleged infractions were committed.

She alleged that there was thumb-printing of ballot papers in Egbeda, Oluyole, Ona Ara, Oyo East, Oyo West, Afijio, and Atiba Local Government Areas prior to the election. Recall that a former Senate Leader, Teslim Folarin was declared winner of the election by the returning officer in the election, Professor Idowu Peter Farai, who announced that Folarin has fulfilled election requirements as the one with the ‘absolute votes’ out of the total votes cast. He said that Folarin won in six local governments, out of eleven local governments of the Senatorial District. Folarin who was in the Senate between 2003 and 2011 under the platform of PDP won in Oluyole, Ọna-Ara, Egbeda, Surulere, Ogo-Oluwa and Lagelu. He scored 91,080 votes to defeat his close rival, Chief Oyebisi Ilaka of PDP who secured 83,600 votes. Other results announced in Moniya Ibadan, the collation centre of the district are ADC 41, 654, ADP 41, 377 and ZLP 6593.

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But, Sunmonu in her petition, added that already thumb-printed votes were used on the day of election. Sunmonu said that the election was manipulated, claiming that many people voted with fake and cloned PVCs, contrary to the guidelines issued by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) that card readers be used and where they were sustained malfunction of the gadgets, voting should be postponed. She said: “On the eve of the rescheduled election, we received an audio recording of a secret meeting held between one of the candidates and the Electoral Officers of INEC, wherein they extensively discussed their plan to manipulate the polls the following day. We implore you to listen to the audio attached to this complaint/petition and verify that what was discussed is actually what transpired in the purported election that held on February 23, 2019.″

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But, the APC candidate, Teslim Folarin while reacting urged Sunmonu to learn to accept defeat in good faith. Folarin while speaking said Sunmonu must be suffering from post-election trauma with the issues raised in her petition. The APC candidate said he won his own local government, Ona-Ara, by less than 300 votes, and lost heavily in three out of the four local government councils in Oyo Federal Constituency where he recorded a deficit of 6, 012 votes. He argued that he won because the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) candidate, Chief Bisi Ilaka, who gave him a close challenge, came third in Ogo-Oluwa/Surulere Federal Constituency. “She should learn to accept defeat. I contested governorship in the last election and was roundly defeated. I was the first to go on radio to congratulate the winner, Governor Abiola Ajimobi, when I saw that the results coming from our agents were very poor.

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“I won in my local government, Ona Ara, with less than 300 votes. APC chairman in Ward 1, Ona Ara, lost his ward to the PDP. If there was rigging, why did the opposition win in the ward? She came a distant third in the election, why is she complaining.” [Culled from DailyPosts].