Kogi poll: INEC to hold Supplementary election Dec 5

Kogi poll: INEC to hold Supplementary election Dec 5

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The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has fixed December 5 for a supplementary election in Kogi State after agreeing that it will go ahead and conclude Saturday’s election which it declared inconclusive.

The commission in a statement Tuesday signed by its Secretary, Augusta Ogakwu said it will conduct election in the 91 polling units across 19 local government areas as declared by the returning officer.

The commission also stated that after being notified by the All Progressive Congress (APC) of the death of its candidate, Abubakar Audu, it has given them the go-ahead to replace him with another candidate.

Meanwhile, the Attorney General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Abubakar Malami has also endorsed the substitution of Audu.

Malami made this known while speaking at a seminar in Abuja, organised by the Nigerian Law Reform Commission on the reform of the National Environmental Standards and Regulation Enforcement Agency (Establishment) Act‎, the AGF said the election has to be concluded.

This is coming on the heels of the stalemate created by the death of Abubakar Audu, APC governorship candidate who died last Sunday, a day after the governorship election that he led with about 41, 000 votes.

He also said since the primary conducted by the APC prior to the election is still valid, the candidate that came second may have to be considered as replacement.

Mr. Yahaya Bello from Kogi Central Senatorial district came second in the APC primary won by Late Audu who hailed from Kogi East Senatorial district. If Malami’s advice is implemented then Bello will be running with Audu’s former running mate, James Faleke from Kogi West Senatorial district. There have been agitations from the Kogi East Senatorial district to appoint a replacement for Audu from his (Audu) zone.

‎Malami said: “The issue is very straightforward. Fundamentally, section 33 of the Electoral Act is very clear‎ that in case of death, the right for substitution by political a political party is sustained by the provisions of section 33 of the Electoral Act.

“And if you have a community reading of that section with section 221 of the constitution, which clearly indicates that the right to vote is the right of a political party and the party in this case, the APC has participated in the conduct of the election.

“It is therefore apparent that ‎the combination community reading of the two provisions does not leave any room for conjecture.

“APC as a party is entitled to substitution by the clear provisions of section 33 of the Electoral Act. Also section 221 of the Constitution is clear that the votes that were cast were cast in favour of the APC.

“Arising from that deduction, it does not require any legal interpretation. The interpretation is clear, APC will substitute, which right has been sustained by section 33 of the Electoral Act. So be it.

“The supplementary election has to be conducted along the line.”
Asked if ‎that substitution should automatically benefit the deputy governorship candidate, he said:
“It all depends on the appreciation of issues arising from the primaries conducted before now.
“There was a first and a second candidate. Those primaries that had taken place over time had not by anyway been nullified. And it is recognized by law.

“But then a further consideration would be the idea of conducting another primary but that is not envisaged in view of the sustainability of the first primaries.‎”

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