The election of a member of the Ondo State House of Assembly representing the Ileoluji/Okeigbo constituency, Hon. Nelson Akinsuroju of the All Progressives Congress, APC has been nullified by the election petition tribunal sitting in Akure.
The judgment was delivered by a three-man panel led by the Chairman, Rose Soji. The tribunal ruled that the March 18th, 2023 Ile-Oluji/Okeigbo Constituency election was inconclusive when ruling on a case submitted by the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) candidate, Babatunde Fadare, challenging the election of Akinsuroju.
It subsequently ordered a repeat election in six of the 27 polling places that the PDP candidate was contesting out of the 191 polling places in the Constituency.
It would be recalled that the electoral umpire had announced Akinsuroju winner of the poll who gathered 10,207 votes, to beat Fadare his closest contender of the PDP candidate who polled 9,287 votes.
Fadare, however, had petitioned the tribunal, contesting the results of the election on the grounds that Nelson Akinsuroju was not properly elected since he did not receive the largest number of validly cast votes and that the election was invalid for not complying with electoral regulations.
Additionally, he requested that the court declare the election inconclusive and direct INEC to hold new elections in the six impacted units where the original vote was interrupted.
The petitioner also joined INEC and APC as respondents in the petition.
Meanwhile, Remi Olatubora, SAN, the attorney for Akinsuroju, reacted to the decision by saying it was biased because it was centred on morals rather than the quality of the outcomes.
The defence attorney, represented by Barrister Olumide Ogidan, also claimed that “the judgment shall be considered and shall be appealed within the stipulated deadline, as indicated in the Electoral Act of 2022.
However, the ousted legislator, Akinsuroju, has advised residents of Ile-Oluji/Okeigbo State Constituency to remain calm and to have hope because the ruling will be appealed by his legal counsel.
In order for them to continue to reap the benefits of their democracy, which they have been doing for more than four months, Akinsuroju said their mandate would be preserved.