Constitutional lawyer Dr. Mike Ozekhome (SAN), has slammed the Independent Nationa Electoral Commission (INEC) for declaring the Osun State governorship election as inconclusive.
In a statement to newsmen, the Senior Advocate of Nigeria said that the action of INEC was a blow to the nation’s constitutional democracy.
Ozekhome noted that the Osun election is an ominous sign of the farce to expect in 2019.
The statement reads in part: “INEC has earned for itself the inglorious reputation of holding inconclusive elections (Kogi, Bayelsa, et al), and working in cahoots with the ruling APC, always eager to do its dirty electoral bidding, to commit daylight robbery of votes.
“This, they have just done to Adeleke’s votes, to defeat the will and legitimate franchise of the good people of Osun state. I wholly condemn this ludicrous mockery of our electoral process and constitutionalism.
“There was no legal, constitutional, or moral basis for the electoral umpire to have declared the election inconclusive since the country’s constitution only recognised lawful and valid votes in declaring a candidate winner of an election.
“This presupposes that some votes would be unlawful and invalid. Consequently, where votes are cancelled or invalidated for any reason, howsoever, including for being invalid and unlawful, such votes are immediately and automatically cancelled, deducted and consigned to the dustbin of history.
“In any case, it was not wholesale results in the election that were voided and cancelled. Only votes that INEC had adjudged illegitimate due to irregularities were voided and cancelled.
“This cancellation and voidance of illegitimate votes affected all the political parties, not just APC and PDP, but especially Omisore’s SDP whose two strongest fortes in Ife axis were badly affected.
“Such voided votes are ignored and unreckoned with, for they are a non sequitur. They are as dead as dodo.
“Having failed to viciously intimidate and rig the elections as they did in Ekiti State, due to the people’s courageous resistance, the APC has now used its electoral arm, INEC, to do the unthinkable, that which is clearly illegal, unconstitutional, immoral, and a brazen assault on our sensibilities and constitutional democracy.”