The Chairman of the Presidential Advisory Committee Against Corruption, PACAC, Prof. Itse Sagay, has said the Supreme Court ought to have addressed the validity of Osun State governorship re-run election.
Sagay said the apex court was right to have nullified the verdict of the tribunal but should have made an affirmative pronouncement if INEC was right to have declared the poll inconclusive and subsequently held supplementary poll.
The Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, had declared the September 2018 governorship election as inconclusive and scheduled a re-run after which Gboyega Oyetola of the All Progressives Congress, APC, was declared winner.
But Ademola Adeleke, candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, challenged the outcome of the the election at the tribunal.
The apex court had set aside the entire proceedings of the tribunal, placing technicality over the merit of the case.
He argued that citizens should not be disenfranchised because of violence or other electoral misgivings.
“The lesson should be drawn home to everybody that all members of the tribunal or the court should be present before they can take part in a judgment,” he said.
“When a judge has conducted a case 90 percent, the judge that takes his place is not allowed to use the records, he has to start all over again. That is the point the Supreme Court is making here, and I think I support the decision.
“If there was violence or something was wrong and you are unable to vote, I don’t know why it is something wrong in being allowed, on another day, to vote… I think the Supreme Court should have just completed that so that the issue would not arise again.
“Ballot boxes have been carried away. Even if you voted, your result cannot count and then INEC decides according to its guidelines to repeat election in such a place, what is wrong with that?
“I think the Supreme Court should have pronounced on that so that you don’t have a situation where somebody would pre-judge the outcome of election by creating confusion in some areas where he is weak and then insisting that those people there should not have an opportunity to vote and then he wins by only allowing election in areas where he is strong; that is the whole idea of supplementary election so that everybody can have an opportunity.
”I think the Supreme Court should have made a pronouncement on that; whether it is right or wrong.”