The country went into a frenzy last week Friday when the Osun State governorship election petition tribunal sitting in Abuja nullified the election of Governor Gboyega Oyetola of the All Progressives Congress (APC) and declared that Senator Ademola Adeleke of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) is the winner of the 2018 gubernatorial election.
Justice Peter Obiora delivered the majority judgment of the tribunal as he ordered that the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to immediately issue a fresh certificate of return to Adeleke as the lawful and validly elected governor of Osun State, after declaring that the re-run election as illegal.
The tribunal declared that the September 27, 2018 supplementary governorship election held in seven polling units was illegal.
It also held that the supplementary election was a product of an illegal cancellation of the results in the seven polling units during the September 22, 2018 main election.
It ruled that the Returning Officer who cancelled the results had no power to do so.
In its final judgment, the tribunal declared that the PDP and its candidate, Adeleke, was the winner of the 2018 governorship election
But, the INEC has disclosed that it can only issue a certificate of return to Sen Adeleke, only if the embattled governor of Osun State, Gboyega Oyetola failed to appeal the judgment of the tribunal that sacked him within 21 days.
This was made known by the National Commissioner and Chairman, Information and Voter Education Committee for INEC, Festus Okoye, while debunking rumours that the commission has issued Adeleke a certificate of return.
“The commission has not issued any new certificate in relation to Osun State.
“Section 143(1) of the Electoral Act gives a candidate whose election is set aside a period of 21days from the date of the decision to appeal against such a decision,” Okoye said while explaining why the commission could not issue a certificate of return to Adeleke.
He was quoted saying: “The person is entitled to remain in office pending the determination of the appeal. The commission will only issue the certificate if appeal is not lodged within 21 days. The commission has not issued any new certificate in relation to Osun State.”
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