While preparing for a rerun, whether in the disputed areas of cancellation or statewide (not likely), the PDP should head for an accelerated court hearing Monday to seek the interpretations of Section 179 sub section 2 of the Nigerian 1999 Constitution, on the strength of Section 1 (3) which provides that;
“(3) 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 void.”
The said provision of Electoral Acts which apparently allowed the Returning Officer to order for a Rerun (without being clear as to where or when) 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 whether the INEC RO has the powers to order for a Rerun when the law was clear on how to “deem” an electoral victory in a gubernatorial election.
Let’s take a look at the Constitution;
(2) A candidate for an election to the office of Governor of a State shall be deemed to have been duly elected where, there being two or more candidates –
(a) he has the highest number of votes cast at the election; and
(b) he has not less than one-quarter of all the votes cast in each of at least two-thirds of all the local government areas in the State.
(3) In default of a candidate duly elected in accordance with subsection (2) of this section there shall be a second election in accordance with subsection (4) of this section at which the only candidates shall be –
(a) the candidate who secured the highest number of votes cast at the election; and
(b) one among the remaining candidates who secured a majority of votes in the highest number of local government areas in the State, so however that where there are more than one candidate with a majority of votes in the highest number of local government areas, the candidate among them with the next highest total of votes cast at the election shall be the second candidate.”
Reading the clear wordings of this constitution, it is clear that ADELEKE of the PDP has won the election based on the Collation that was announced by the electoral umpire. The trick of “cancellation” Rerun should not stand the test of serious Litigation.
I hope the PDP should act quickly.