By Yemi Adeleye
Lagos, April 17, 2019
The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) in Lagos State on Wednesday said the supplementary poll in Ajeromi-Ifelodun Federal Constituency would hold on April 27.
The commission fixed the date after complying with a court order directing it to announce results of the Feb. 23 election in the constituency at a stakeholders meeting held at the commission’s office located in Ajeromi-Ifelodun Local Government Secretariat.
Prof. Olusoji Ilori, the INEC Returning Officer for the federal constituency, who declared the Feb. 23 election inconclusive, said the results of the election could not be declared after the polls due to violence that marred the process.
Ilori, an academic from the University of Lagos, reeled out the scores of each political party in the election, and said that the margin of lead between the leading candidate, Mrs Rita Orji, candidate of Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and his closest opponent, Mr Kolawole Taiwo of the All Progressives Congress (APC), necessitated the supplementary election.
He said that the PDP candidate polled 31, 982 votes, while Mr Kolawole Taiwo of the APC scored 28, 758 votes.
Ilori said that the difference between PDP and APC was 3224.
The returning officer said that the total number of registered voters for the constituency in the election was 379, 676; valid votes was 63, 049; rejected votes, 2855; while the total votes cast was 65, 904.
He said that the total registered voters for the affected 71 polling units across eight wards in the constituency where cancellation occurred remained 43, 660.
Announcing the date of the supplementary election, Mr Afred Akpojotor, the INEC Electoral Officer for the council, said that the poll would hold on April 27 in the affected areas.
According to Akpojotor, the affected areas include, Awodi Ora, Wilmer, Ilori Apapa, Ojo Road, Mosafejo, Temidire 2, among others.
“I have been directed by my Resident Electoral Commissioner (REC) to announce that the commission has fixed Saturday April 27 for the supplementary election in all those affected polling units,” he said.
He said that the results of the supplementary elections would be added to the already collated results for the winner to emerge.
In his reaction, Mr Charles Ejimadu, the Director-General of the Rita Orji Campaign Organisation, described the process as “unfortunate”, claiming that the results for 67 out of 71 affected polling units were available.
“We have 67 of those results. It is under our custody and when the time comes, we shall bring out our facts.
“Of course, we won in the major election, rerun will not be an issue, but we are saying there shouldn’t have been any need for the rerun because we have a clear valid win from our own collation that we have.
‘When the time comes, we will bring out the fact for the whole world to know,” Ejimadu told journalists.
Also speaking, Mr Fatia Ajidagba, an APC chieftain and the Executive Chairman, Ifelodun Local Council Development Area told newsmen that APC would prepare adequately for the supplementary poll and that the party would emerge victorious.
INEC, Lagos, in a statement issued by its spokesman, Mr Femi Akinbiyi, on Wednesday, enjoined registered voters in the affected areas to come out in large numbers to cast their votes and conduct themselves in a peaceful manner to ensure the success of the election.