…demand arrest of REC, State Returning Officer

Laide Raheem, Abeokuta

10 political parties have rejected the result of last Saturday’s governorship election in Ogun state, alleging that the election was fraught with “violence, manipulation and irregularities”.

The parties spoke under the auspices of the Coalition of Registered Political Parties in Ogun state.

The parties are Social Democratic Party (SDP), New Nigeria Peoples Party (NNPP), Action Alliance (AA), Accord Party (AP), Allied People’s Movement (APM), Because Of Our Tomorrow (BOOT party), Labour Party (LP), Action Democratic Party (ADP), African Action Congress (AAC), All Peoples Party (APP) and National Rescue Movement (NRM).

INEC had on Sunday declared Dapo Abiodun of the All Progressives Congress (APC) as the winner of the election, having polled a total of 276,298 votes, while his closest rival, Ladi Adebutu of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) garnered 262,383.

Speaking on behalf of the political parties, the state chairman of NNPP, Olaposi Oginni, accused the state Returning Officer, Prof Kayode Adebowale and the Resident Electoral Commissioner, Niyi Ijalaye, of upturning results of the election in favour of Abiodun.

According to him, the INEC stood logic in the head by making a pronouncement of a winner in an election in which the number of cancelled votes tripled the margin number of the lead of the acclaimed winner and closest rival.

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To this end, he called for the suspension of the REC and the arrest of Adebowale who is the Vice Chancellor of the University of Ibadan, for committing “heinous crime against democracy.”

He said “The Ogun Coalition of Registered Political Parties hereby call for the immediate suspension of the Ogun State Resident Electoral Commissioner and Immediate Arrest and Prosecution of Prof. Kayode Adebowale-The Vice Chancellor of University Ibadan for this heinous crime against Democracy.

“The Ogun Coalition of Registered Political Parties is using this medium to call on all lovers of peace and democracy around the globe to put their searchlights on Ogun State as we are all struggling to bring back hope to the electorates and good people of Ogun State.

“Recognizing the fact that an injustice to one is an injustice to all. We hereby call for the return of the stolen mandate of Hon. Oladipupo Adebutu of the Peoples Democratic Party who is generally believed to be the actual Winner of March 18th 2023 Governorship Election in Ogun State.

“In Conclusion, The Coalition of Registered Political Parties Ogun State hereby Confirm that the March 18 th 2023 Election in Ogun State was massively rigged with lots of irregularities ranging from snatching of ballot boxes in over 100 polling units, suppression of voters with thugs under the cover of security agencies, ballot snuffing and other illegalities. Once again , we are appealing to all relevant agencies including INEC to do the needful in the interest of good governance and development of our democracy.”

Earlier in the day, the Inter-Party Advisory Council (IPAC) in the state, had declared the result of the governorship poll satisfactory, calling on the gubernatorial candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Oladipupo Adebutu, to seek redress in court rather than inciting tension and chaos in the state.

The Council, under the leadership of Samson Okusanya, commended the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) and security agencies, for conducting what it described as a “credible, fair and free” governorship election.