The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) says it can only issue a certificate of return to Senator Ademola Adeleke of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) if the embattled governor of Osun State, Gboyega Oyetola fails to appeal the judgment of the tribunal within 21 days, Olajide TV reports.
Olajide TV recalls that the Osun State Governorship Election Petitions Tribunal sitting in Abuja had last week Friday nullified the election of Oyetola of the All Progressives Congress (APC) and declared Adeleke winner of the 2018 governorship election.
Delivering judgement, Justice Peter Obiora of the election 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.
Yesterday, rumours went round the social media with pictures suggesting INEC issued a certificate of return to Adeleke. However, a check by Olajide TV revealed that the picture in circulation was when Adeleke received his certificate of return as Senator-elect in the Osun West July 8, 2017 by-election.
Reacting, INEC National Commissioner and Chairman of Information and Voter Education Committee, Festus Okoye debunked the rumours.
“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 newsmen.