Hon. Ladi Adebutu, governorship candidate of the People’s Democratic Party, PDP, has disputed the overall results of the state’s 2023 governorship election and demanded for their revocation.
The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has already certified Governor Dapo Abiodun of the All Progressives Congress (APC) as the victor of the Ogun governorship election held on Saturday, March 23, 2023.
Abiodun was named the winner after capturing 12 local government areas, while Adebutu captured eight.
However, Adebutu, Abiodun’s major rival in the guber election, said that INEC cancelled results from 54 polling units scattered over Remo North, Sagamu, Ifo, and Local Government Areas of the state during the election, calling it as “disenfranchisement of electorate” in his own strongholds.
The former federal lawmaker, who said through the PDP’s State Agent in the governorship election, Mr Oyejide Sunkanmi, urged the Commission to examine the cancellations and order a rerun in the affected districts.
Adebutu premised the call for a re-run on the ground that such is a legitimate demand, citing the electoral Act section 24 subsection 3 which provides that “a rerun should be ordered where violence hindered the electorate, electoral officials and materials from being freely deployed for the purpose of election”.
According to him, if the total number of cancelled votes is considerably greater than the margin of victory or lead between the winner and the first runner up, a repeat in the affected areas is recommended.
He also mentioned Remo North Local Government where votes were annulled owing to BVAS malfunction, asking why should the electorate be disenfranchised for no fault of theirs?
Returning Officer has up to 7 days to request a rerun from INEC.
In response, INEC’s Returning Officer (RO) for the Ogun State governorship election, Adebowale, said he had studied the records of the impacted Returning Officers (ROs) and found the PDP’s accusations inconsistent with those of the ROs.
“What was mentioned differs from our records; but, if they are later confirmed to be correct, INEC has up to 7 days to conduct a rerun.”
Prof. Kayode Adebowale, the State Returning Officer, delivered the news at the Independent National Electoral Commission’s state collation centre.
After collating results from all 20 Local Government Areas in the state, Adebowale, backed by the state Resident Electoral Commissioner (REC) of INEC, Niyi Ijalaye, pronounced Abiodun the victor of the election.
How Abiodun triumphed
According to the results of the governorship election issued by INEC’s Returning Officer (R.O), Prof. Kayode Adebowale, the APC candidate, Abiodun emerged victorious, polling a total of 276, 298 votes to defeat Adebutu, who garnered a total of 262, 383 votes out of the total 645, 133 votes cast.
Adebowale, the Vice Chancellor of the University of Ibadan, named Abiodun the winner, saying Abiodun, “having satisfied the conditions of the law, is hereby declared the winner.”