The election of a member of the Ondo State House of Assembly representing Ileoluji/Okeigbo constituency, Hon. Nelson Akinsuroju of the All Progressives Congress, has been nullified by Election Petition Tribunal sitting in Akure, the state capital.
While ruling on a petition filed by the candidate of People’s Democratic Party, Babatunde Fadare against the election of Akinsuroju, the tribunal declared that the March 18th, 2023 Ile-Oluji/Okeigbo Constituency election, was inconclusive.
It therefore ordered a rerun election in six, out of the 27 polling units being challenged by the PDP Candidate, of the entire 191 polling units in the Constituency.
Akinsuroju, was declared winner by the Independent National Electoral Commission after polling a total number of 10,207 votes, to beat the PDP candidate who polled 9,287 votes.
Meanwhile, Fadare had petitioned the tribunal, challenging the outcome of the election on the grounds that the election was not valid for non-compliance with electoral laws and that Nelson Akinsuroju was not duly elected for not getting the highest lawfully votes cast.
He equally called on the court to declare the election inconclusive and order INEC to conduct supplementary election in the 6 affected units where election were disrupted.
The petitioner also joined INEC and APC as respondents in the petition.
While delivering judgement, the three-man panel led by the Chairman, Rose Soji, ordered for a rerun in six affected polling units in Ile-Oluji/Okeigbo local government area of Ondo State.
Responding to the verdict, counsel to Akinsuroju, Remi Olatubora, Srnior Advocate of Nigeria, said the judgement was biased as it is based on morality of the case and not competence of the results.
Represented by Barrister Olumide Ogidan, the defense counsel, said “the judgment shall be studied and shall be appealed within the stipulated timeframe, as stated in the Electoral Act of 2022.
The sacked lawmaker, Akinsuroju, has however, called for calm and urged the people of Ile-Oluji/Okeigbo State Constituency to be hopeful as the judgment shall be appealed through his legal team.
Akinsuroju added that, their mandate would be protected for them, to ensure that they continue to enjoy the dividends of their democracy which they have been enjoying for over 4 months.