Hundreds of protesters in Offa local government council of Kwara State yesterday marched through major streets in Offa town to protest the ruling of the local government election petitions tribunal that ordered a re-run into the council chairmanship election.
Offa is the only council won by Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN) out of the 16 local governments in the state during the 2010 council election but cancelled and re-run in January, 2011.
The re-run poll was won by Prince Saheed Popoola of the ACN.
Dissatisfied with the outcome of the election, PDP candidate Prince Segun Olanipekun asked the tribunal to nullify Popoola’s victory on allegation that it was marred with irregularities and non-compliance with the electoral act.
Delivering his judgment on the PDP petition, Chairman of Kwara State election petitions tribunal, Chief Magistrate Nurudeen Adeyanju said by virtue of evidences tendered before him, there were instances of over voting in 14 polling units, while there were no proper accreditations of voters on 12 polling units, thereby ordering re-run election within 90 days in the council.
The ruling, however, led to massive peaceful protests by youths, old men and women, artisans and students in Offa over the tribunal ruling.
As early as 8am, the protesters marched through the Offa market, Station Road, Ilorin Road, General Hospital Road among others to express their dissatisfaction with the ruling of the tribunal, a development that led the state police command to draft more policemen to Offa to maintain law and order.
Chairman of the council Saheed Popoola urged them to allow peace to reign because he would appeal against the ruling of the tribunal at the federal Court of Appeal, Ilorin.
“I have 21 days to appeal against the ruling and before the time, I still remain the chairman of the council. We believe in the judiciary and we will not bow to injustice on the ruling until we are vindicated at the end”, he said.