The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), in reaction to the victory of Senator Ademola Adeleke of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) at the Osun State governorship election petition tribunal sitting in Abuja, said the only way it can issue a certificate of return to Adeleke is for the sitting governor, Gboyega Oyetola, to refrain from appealing the judgment of the tribunal that sacked him within 21 days.
Recall that the Osun State governorship election petition tribunal had last week Friday nullified the election of Oyetola of the All Progressives Congress (APC) and declared Adeleke winner of the 2018 gubernatorial election.
Justice Peter Obiora who delivered the majority judgment of the tribunal ordered INEC to immediately issue a fresh certificate of return to Adeleke as the lawful and validly elected governor of Osun State, after declaring the September 27, 2018 re-run election illegal.
However, rumours went around on social media with pictures suggesting that INEC issued a certificate of return to Adeleke.
In reaction, the INEC National Commissioner and Chairman, Information and Voter Education Committee, Barr Festus Okoye, debunked the rumours, stating that: “The commission has not issued any new certificate in relation to Osun State.
“Section 143(1) of the Electoral Act gives a candidate whose election is set aside a period of 21days from the date of the decision to appeal against such a decision,” Okoye said while explaining why the commission can’t issue a certificate of return to Adeleke.
“The person is entitled to remain in office pending the determination of the appeal. The commission will only issue the certificate if appeal is not lodged within 21 days. The commission has not issued any new certificate in relation to Osun State,” Okoye told Leadership newspaper.