From Oluseye Ojo, and Lateef Dada, Osogbo
The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) declared Senator Ademola Adeleke, the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) candidate for the Saturday, July 16, 2022 governorship poll in Osun State as the winner of the keenly contested race.
He was returned winner of the poll by the Returning Officer for the election, Prof Oluwatoyin Ogundipe, who is the Vice Chancellor, University of Lagos, having polled a total of 403,371 votes to defeat the sitting governor, Alhaji Gboyega Oyetola, who scored a total of 375,027 votes, with a winning margin of 28,344 votes in favour of the PDP.
Ogundipe pronounced Adeleke winner of the poll at exactly 7:10 am, saying he has “certified the requirements of the law and is hereby declared the winner and he is returned elected.”
The announcement of results, which started at 1:02 am in the early hours of Sunday, was brought to a close at exactly 7:10 am, after more than six hours.
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Adeleke won in 17 of the 30 local government areas of the state, while Oyetola topped in 13 local governments. But the duo had narrow winning margins in the majority of the local government areas they won respectively.
The candidate of the Action Democratic Party (ADP), Kehinde Atanda, who scored 10,104 votes came a distant third, while the Accord candidate, Dr Akin Ogunbiyi came fourth with 4,515 votes. A former deputy speaker of the House of Representatives, Yussuf Lasun, of the Labour Party (LP) came fifth with 2,729 votes. A total of 15 political parties fielded candidates for the election.
A perusal of the results revealed that the PDP candidate won in Ila Local Government of a former of the state and ex-Interim National Chairman of APC, Chief Bisi Akande, despite the fact that APC won in his polling unit.
Also, the APC won with a narrow margin of 1,282 in Ife East Local Government, where the National Secretary of the party, Senator Iyiola Omisore hails. In the local government, APC scored 19,353 votes as against the 18,071 votes got by PDP.
Governor Oyetola also won in his Boripe Local Government, defeating Adeleke with 13,610 votes. He polled a total of 21,205 votes, while Adeleke hot 7,595 votes in the local government area.
Adeleke, however, polled a total of 23,931 votes in his Ede North Local Government, while Oyetola got 9,603 votes, defeating him with a total of 14,328 votes. In Ede South, Adeleke also had 19,438 votes, while Oyetola got 5,704 votes, leading the governor with a total of 13,734.
In the two local governments in Ede, Adeleke scored a total of 43,369, while Oyetola polled 15,307. The governor was defeated with a total of 28,062 votes in Ede, the hometown of the Adelekes.
Related: BREAKING: INEC declares Adeleke winner of Osun Guber election
Meanwhile, local government collation officers and party agents said during the announcement of results at the INEC Office in Osogbo that cases of over-voting occurred in some polling units in some local governments and the results of such units were cancelled.
The Collation Officer for Atakunmosa West Local Government, Dr Adeola Oloyede, reported that a corps member, engaged as an ad-hoc staff of INEC, was attacked by hoodlums, at a polling unit at Ward 07 of the local government, sustaining a head injury and has been taken to the hospital. The ballot box at the unit was also broken by the attackers.
Gunmen were also reported to have created a serious scene at Ward 06, Polling Unit 02 in Odo-Otin Local Government, as they stormed the unit with guns and cutlasses, stole the ballot box, and ran away. The security agents on duty gave them both chase, caught up with them, recovered the box and arrested them.
In Irewole Local Government, Ikire, it was reported that an agent of PDP, identified as Jide Joda was shot by political thugs and he has been hospitalised.
Related: Osun elections: ICPC arrests suspected vote buyers
The 2018 governorship poll, that eventually produced Oyetola as governor, in the state started on a peaceful note. Later in the day, reports came that there were places where ballot boxes were snatched and elections disrupted. It was also reported that there were gunshots at some of the collation centres in the evening of the election day in 2018.
Later, the stage was set for the official announcement of results on a local government basis at the head office of INEC in Osogbo, the state capital. At the end of the exercise, the election was declared inconclusive. A supplementary election was later held and Oyetola emerged the winner and he was accordingly returned by INEC.
Though PDP went to tribunal, Court of Appeal, and the litigation eventually ended at the apex court in Nigeria, the Supreme Court. At all levels, the election of Oyetola was upheld. Then, the PDP returned to the drawing board, preparing for today’s governorship election. Also, APC settled for governance.
The supplementary election was held in seven polling units across four local governments. 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.
Amidst allegations of harassment and other forms of malpractice, the APC candidate won six of the seven units. 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.
At the end of the first round of the ballots in 2018, Adeleke had led his APC rival with 353 votes. But the table turned around the following Thursday after the supplementary election was held. The APC candidate overtook the PDP candidate and beat him with a total margin of 482 votes. The APC also won a total of 16 local governments and PDP won in 11. The SDP won two, while the Action Democratic Party (ADP) also won in one local government.
The INEC said the poll was declared inconclusive then because the winning margin of votes was less than the number of cancelled votes in the seven polling units. Elections were cancelled in the polling units based on reported irregularities such as ballot box snatching, manual accreditation and missing result sheets.