The Peoples Democratic Party in Ondo State recovered from a defeat at the March 28 presidential election to secure a dramatic victory on Saturday, winning 19 out of the 24 seats in the Ondo State House of Assembly already announced by the Independent National Electoral Commission.
The election, which was marked by instances of violence and ballot box snatching in some parts of the state, saw the return of the House Speaker, Jumoke Akindele (Okitipupa II) and the Majority Leader, Ifedayo Akinsoyinu (Ondo West II) to their seats in the House.
The All Progressives Congress secured five seats of Akoko North West I, Akoko South West I and II, Akure South II and Owo II.
The other constituencies won by the PDP include Akoko North East, Akoko North West II, Akoko South East, Akure North, Akure South I, Ese-Odo, Idanre, Ile-Oluji/Okeigbo, Irele, Odigbo I and II; Okitipupa I, Ondo East, Ondo West I, Ose and Owo I.
The results of the two constituencies in the Ilaje Local Government Area were not announced following alleged manipulation of the results after armed youths seized electoral materials and returned them later with figures.
The Resident Electoral Commissioner in the state, Olusegun Agbaje, while addressing newsmen in Akure on Sunday, said, “The Returning Officers for Ilaje Constituency I and Ilaje Constituency II were forced to declare the results under duress by armed thugs , even though the cancelled polling units could affect the final results.”
Agbaje noted that the returning officers in their separate reports to him, declared the results of the two constituencies inconclusive because the outcome of the cancelled polling units could change the final results.
According to him, the results in the two constituencies should not have been declared given that there were no election in 26 polling units in Ilaje II, with a total voting capacity of 20, 879 and the cancelled 47 units in Ilaje I, with a total voting capacity of 25, 302.
“The results had to be declared by the Returning Officer because of the tense situation and the threat to his life, that of the Electoral Officers and the ad hoc staff,” he said.
He said the Chairman of INEC, Prof. Attahiru Jega, would need to look into the matter because of the legal implications in relation to the provisions of the Electoral Act and make a formal pronouncement.
Agbaje noted that the election witnessed low turnout of voters across the state, adding that there were pockets of violence in 10 council areas.
The areas are Akoko North West, Akoko South West, Ese-Odo, Idanre, Ilaje, Irele, Okitipupa, Ondo East, Owo and Ose.