In a recent development, the Election Petitions Tribunal in Akure has invalidated the electoral victory of Nelson Akinsuroju, the All Progressives Congress (APC) legislator representing the Ileoluji/Okeigbo constituency.
Justice Rose Soji, leading the tribunal, has issued an order for a rerun election in six out of the 27 polling units contested by the petitioner, Babatunde Fadare of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP). This decision comes after reviewing the outcome of the March 18th, 2023 Ile-Oluji/Okeigbo Constituency election. The tribunal declared the election inconclusive and directed a rerun in the affected polling units within the Ile-Oluji/Okeigbo local government area of the state.
Akinsuroju’s legal counsel, Remi Olatubora, expressed dissatisfaction with the verdict, alleging that the judgement appeared biased and rooted in the moral aspects of the case rather than the integrity of the election results. Olatubora, represented by Barrister Olumide Ogidan, announced plans to appeal the decision within the prescribed time frame as stipulated in the Electoral Act of 2022.
In response to the tribunal’s decision, Akinsuroju, the ousted legislator, called for calm among the residents of Ile-Oluji/Okeigbo State Constituency. He assured them that his legal team would appeal the judgement to safeguard their democratic mandate and ensure the continued enjoyment of the benefits of democracy, which they have experienced for over four months.
It’s worth noting that Akinsuroju had initially been declared the winner by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), securing 10,207 votes, while the PDP candidate polled 9,287 votes. Fadare, however, challenged the election results, alleging violations of electoral laws and claiming that Akinsuroju did not secure the highest number of lawful votes. He urged the court to declare the election inconclusive and order INEC to conduct supplementary elections in the six affected units where voting was disrupted.