Rerun elections for the Saki West state seat have been mandated by the National and State Assembly Election Petition Tribunal in Oyo State.
The All Peoples Congress (APC) candidate Mr. Shittu Ibrahim was previously proclaimed the victor of the March 18 state assembly election by INEC.
It was declared that Ibrahim received 13,692 votes, defeating Julius Okedoyin, the PDP candidate, who received 13,422 votes.
Dissatisfied with the declaration, Okedoyin and the PDP headed to the tribunal alleging over-voting, irregularities and non-compliance with electoral guidelines.
In a unanimous ruling delivered by its chairman, Justice Jubril Anaja, the tribunal held that the petition had merit and that the petitioners proved their allegations beyond reasonable doubt.
Anaja ruled that the cancellation of results from Ward 6 Unit 7 and Ward 11 Unit 19 of the constituency with 1,285 voter cards collected, could substantially affect the outcome of the election.
The tribunal noted that whereas the declared winner led the petitioner by 270 votes in Ward 6, the number of voters disenfranchised was more than 1,000.
According to the tribunal, the more than 1,000 voters disenfranchised by INEC in the affected wards might have over-turned the result if they were allowed to vote.
“The certificate of return issued to the first respondent (Ibrahim) by INEC is hereby set aside pending the re-run election to determine the winner of the election for Saki West constituency.
“INEC is hereby ordered to conduct a re-run election in Ward 6, Unit 7 and Ward 11, Unit 19 within 90 days,’’ Anaja declared.
Reacting, Ibrahim’s counsel, Mr Sikiru Adewoye, said his client will file an appeal against the judgment of the tribunal.
However, the petitioners’ counsel, Mr Yusuf Ogunrinde, commended the tribunal for the judgement.