The governorship candidate of the People’s Democratic Party, PDP, Hon. Ladi Adebutu has rejected the overall results of the 2023 governorship election in the state and called for the cancellation of the results.
The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) had earlier declared Governor Dapo Abiodun of the All Progressives Congress (APC) as the winner of the Ogun governorship election conducted in the state on Saturday 23rd March, 2023.
Abiodun was declared the winner after winning 12 Local government areas, while Adebutu won in eight local government areas.
But, Adebutu, who is Abiodun’s main challenger at the guber election said results in 54 Polling Units that spread across Remo North, Sagamu, Ifo Local Governments Areas of the state were cancelled by INEC during the election, describing it as “disenfrachising of electorate” in his own strongholds.The former federal lawmaker, who spoke through the State Agent of the PDP in respect of the governorship poll, Mr Oyejide Sunkanmi, called on the Commission to investigate the cancellations and directs a rerun in the affected areas.
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 far higher than the margin of lead or winning between the winner and the first runner up, a rerun becomes advisable in the affected places.
He noted that reports gathered from the field revealed that INEC cancelled election results from polling units widely known to be his “Political strongholds” to technically chip away votes accruable to him from such units.
He accused the agents of the ruling APC of instigating the purported violence that preceded the said cancellations, ostensibly to whittle down the winning strength of the PDP in the affected units.
He also cited Remo North Local Government where votes were cancelled due to BVAS malfunction, asking why should the electorate be disenfranchised for no fault of theirs?
Responding, the INEC’s R.O. for Ogun State governorship poll, Adebowale said he had examined the records of the Returning Officers (ROs) of the affected areas and found the PDP’s complaints at variance with that of the ROs.
“What was said are at variance with our records, however if they are found to be correct later, INEC has up to 7 days to order a rerun.”
The State Returning Officer, Prof. Kayode Adebowale made the announcement at the state collation centre of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) in Abeokuta, the state capital.
Adebowale who was flanked by the state Residence Electoral Commissioner (REC) of INEC, Niyi Ijalaye declared Abiodun the winner of the election after the collation of results from all the 20 Local government areas of the state.
In the results of the guber election announced by INEC’s Returning Officer, Prof. Kayode Adebowale, the APC candidate, Abiodun emerged winner of the governorship election having polled a total votes of 276, 298 votes to defeat Adebutu, who scored a total votes of 262, 383 out of the entire 645, 133 total votes cast.
Declaring Abiodun as the winner, Adebowale, who is the Vice Chancellor of University of Ibadan said Abiodun, “having satisfied the requirements of the law, is hereby declared as the winner of the year 2023 Ogun State governorship election.”
Adebowale stated that governorship candidate of the African Democratic Congress (ADC), Biyi Otegbeye came a distant third position, having polled a total of ADC: 94, 754 votes.