The Conference of Nigeria Political Parties (CNPP) yesterday said the decision by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to declare the governorship election as inconclusive was a rape of democracy.
In a statement signed by its Secretary General, Chief Willy Ezugwu, the CNPP said garnering a simple majority of valid votes cast was what was required by any candidate to be declared the winner.
“The decision of the returning officer to declare the election inconclusive, which insiders have noted was taken after receiving a phone call, and the section of the Electoral Act relied upon, requires, before the rerun date, a court action to seek the interpretations of Section 179 sub section 2 of the Nigerian 1999 Constitution, on the strength of Section 1 (3).”
According to Ezugwu, the sub-section 3 of the same section of the constitution says: “ If any other law is inconsistent with the provisions of this constitution, this constitution shall prevail, and that other law shall, to the extent of the inconsistency, be voided.”
“The legal action has become imperative as the provision of the Electoral Act, which was relied upon by the returning officer appears to be inconsistent with Section 179, subsection 2 and 3 of the 1999 Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, thus, it is legally contentious as the Constitution is unambiguous on how to determine an electoral victory in a governorship election,” he added.
Ezugwu said it could be safely said that INEC had done the unthinkable by revisiting its principle of inconclusive elections, and had “clearly towed the line of illegality, unconstitutionality, and chose the path of immorality by openly assaulting the sensibilities of right thinking people around the world after opting to brazenly rape Nigeria’s constitutional democracy.”
“For us and many well meaning Nigerians, particularly all lovers of democracy, a declaration of the winner of the Osun governorship election after the votes cancellation would have cleared the doubts of all Nigerians that INEC will conduct a free, fair, and generally accepted election in 2019 as it did in 2015, where an opposition candidate won the presidential election for the first time in our history and without any litigation.”