The Independent National Electoral Commission on Sunday declared Governor Dapo Abiodun of Ogun State and the Governorship candidate of the All Progressive Congress (APC) the winner of the state gubernatorial election.
The declaration in Abeokuta, the state’s capital by Professor Kayode Adebowale, the returning officer of the governorship election in the state, was after Sunkanmi Oyejide, the collation agent of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), the main opposition party in the state, who cautioned INEC against declaring a winner of the election pointing out that the election was inconclusive because of a large number of votes cancellation in the state.
However, Adebowale went ahead with the declaration as he said Abiodun scored a total of 276,298 votes to defeat his closest rivalOladipupo Adebutu of the PDP, who scored 262,383 votes. The difference between the two main candidates was 13,915 votes.
Scores for other parties in the elections are Accord, 724 votes; Action Alliance, 382 votes; African Action Congress, 2,613 votes; Action Democratic Congress, 94,753 votes; Action Democratic Party, 2,770 votes; Allied People Movement, 2,066 votes; Action Peoples Party 207 votes; New Nigeria Peoples Party, 1394 votes; National Rescue Movement, 779 votes; Peoples Redemption Party, 248 votes and Social Democratic Party, 515 votes.
Oyejide had said that INEC should consider a clause in the Electoral Act (amended) that orders the commission to declare a rerun in the case of total rejected votes outnumbered the lead margin.
Professor Oluwagboyega Afolabi, Collation Officer for Sagamu LG in his report had said that the results of 15 polling units were cancelled as a result of violence during the governorship election on Saturday.
The PDP agent said there were no fewer than 33,750 registered voters in polling units cancelled in Sagamu, Ijebu-Ode, Ikenne, Ijebu-North and Ogun Waterside local government areas
“The electoral act 2022, Section 24 Sub-Section 3 says where an election has commenced and there is reason to believe that there is or has been substantial destruction of election in a polling unit or constituency or it is impossible to continue with the election, occasioned by the threat to peace and security of electoral officials and materials.
“Electoral officials and materials should be underlined in the case of Remo where BVAS did not function and I argued it out. The commission shall suspend the election and appoint another date for the continuation of the election or the process.
“Secondly, if we invoke the principle of lead of margin enshrine in the electoral act 2022, the rejected votes according to results submitted to local government are far higher than the lead of margin.
“This just to inform you when you are through with your final collation and what happened is found to be true that you will know that the election shall be inconclusive and a rerun should be ordered where necessary,” Oyejide said.
He said the party had written a petition dated March 18, 2023, and addressed to Professor Mahmood Yakubu, Chairman of INEC: “Petition against deliberate disenfranchisement of a large number of voters in some local governments of Ogun State.”
In response, Adebowale as the State Returning Officer said the complaints have already been looked into the issue and that its records showed that the issue raised is not accurate.
“I have tried to check our records and I want to say that everything he said is at variance with what we have as records.
“But, if it is found to be incorrect, INEC has seven days to review its decision,” he said.
Later on, he went on to declare a winner.
A total of 2,688,305 total registered voters were recorded in the state while accredited voters for the election were 666,406 and a total of 663968 votes were cast. The number of valid votes was 645,133 votes with 18,835 votes rejected.
The APC won in Odeda, Egbado-North, Egbado-South, Ewekoro, Ijebu-North, Ijebu-Ode, Ipokia , Abeokuta-North. Ado-Odo/Ota, Ifo, Obafemi-Owode and Imeko-Afon local government areas of the state.
The PDP won in Abeokuta-South, Ogun Waterside, Ijebu-North/East, Ikenne, Ijebu-East, Remo-North, Odogbolu and Sagamu local government areas.