OsunDecides2018: INEC’s Rerun Declaration In Order, Backed By Judicial Precedence
Rather than dissipate energy on legality of the decision of INEC to declare Osun election inconclusive, the parties should prepare for the re-run. The Supreme Court has never nullified an election. Re-run, though a creation of INEC Guidelines, has been validated by the Courts.
In terms of Section 179 of the Constitution, Senator Adeleke ought to be declared as the governor of Osun State. But INEC Guidelines empowers the Commission to declare election inconclusive where the margin between the winner and 1st runner-up is lesser than cancelled votes.
Recent guber elections in Abia, Kogi, Bayelsa, INEC declared the elections inconclusive despite the emergence of a winner. In Abia, the Court of Appeal said INEC cannot do so when a winner has emerged but the Supreme Court gave judicial approval for re-run/inconclusive elections.
2015 INEC Guidelines, pages 22 – 23, Paragraph 4, Section N issued pursuant to Section 153 of the Electoral Act, 2010 (as amended) empowers INEC to declare election inconclusive where the margin of victory is less than the number of registered voters in cancelled Polling Units.
Can PDP challenge the decision of INEC? They can, but nothing will come out of it going by the reasons given by the Commission. PDP should prepare for the rerun and not dissipate energy and resources on fruitless legal niceties.
Under our current electoral jurisprudence, everything is against the Petitioner.
EDITOR’S NOTE: Inibehe Effiong is the Principal Counsel/Head of Chambers, Inibehe Effiong Chambers based in Lagos
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