Sequel to court’s declaration of Sen Ademola Adeleke of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) as the winner of the Osun State governorship elections, the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has said it will only issue him a Certificate of Return if the embattled governor, Gboyega Oyetola fails to appeal the judgment of the tribunal that sacked him within 21 days.
Recall that the Osun State Election Petition Tribunal last Friday declared Adeleke of the PDP the winner of the Osun 2018 Governorship Election nullifying INEC’s declaration Oyetola.
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 as illegal.
The social media has been awash with pictures suggesting INEC has issued a certificate of return to Adeleke a move debunked by the INEC National Commissioner and chairman, Information and Voter Education Committee, Barr Festus Okoye.
“The commission has not issued any new certificate in relation to Osun State,” he said.
“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.