Osun election: INEC declares APC’s Oyetola winner as EU, US, UK ‘witnessed’ intimidation of voters, interference during rerun

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The Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, has declared the candidate of the All Progressives Congress, Gboyega Oyetola, the winner of the 2018 Osun governorship election.

Oyetola was returned as governor-elect on Thursday at the end of a supplementary election which held in seven polling units across four local governments.

The APC candidate won six of the seven units amidst allegations of harassment and other forms malpractice.

At the end of the tally of votes, the APC candidate scored a total of 255,505 votes while the PDP candidate scored a total of 255,023 votes.

Although Adeleke had led his APC rival with 353 votes at the end of the first round of ballots last Saturday, the table turned after the supplementary votes on Thursday with the APC candidate overtaking and beating the PDP candidate with a total margin of 482 votes.

Besides leading in the number of votes cast, the APC also led in the number of local government areas won, winning a total of 16 local government areas as against 11 won by the PDP. The SDP won two while the ADP won one.

INEC scheduled the rerun after declaring the Saturday election inconclusive, saying the margin of votes was less than the number of cancelled votes in seven polling units.

Three of the units were located in Orolu local government, two in Ife South, one in Ife North and another one in Osogbo local government. INEC cancelled the elections in the polling units due to irregularities ranging from ballot box snatching, manual accreditation and missing result sheets.

The INEC returning officer for the governorship election, Joseph Fuwape, who declared the final result  at the head office of the commission in Osun, stated that Oyetolais the  winner of the election.

The returning officer, Adeola Afuwape, announced the victory of APC’s flag bearer Friday morning, saying: “That Gboyega Oyetola, having satisfied the requirement of the law and won the highest number of votes is hereby declared winner and returned elected”.

Meanwhile, the missions of the US, UK and EU have given their take on the conduct of the Osun governorship rerun election.

Observers from the missions who were on the ground to monitor the electoral process said they witnessed “incidents of interference and intimidation of voters”.

US consul general, John Bray, told journalists in Osogbo, the Osun state capital, that the missions were concerned about the reports, adding that they will consult relevant stakeholders to determine the facts.

Bray said, “The missions of the United States, European Union and the United Kingdom observed voting at polling stations in Osun today (Thursday).

“We witnessed what appeared to be incidents of interference and intimidation of voters and have reports of harassment of party monitors, journalists and domestic observers.

“We are very concerned by these reports and we will be checking with stakeholders to determine the facts. We call on all stakeholders to remain calm.”

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