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Wednesday, 25 November 2015

Kogi Guber Poll: INEC fixes supplementary election December 5





…Orders APC to fill vacancy created by Audu’s death
From ROMANUS UGWU, in Lokoja
The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has finally fixed December 5, 2015 as official date for the conduct of supplementary election for the inconclusive Kogi State governorship poll held last weekend.
In a press statement from the headquarters of INEC signed by the Honourable Secretary of the electoral commission, Barrister Augusta Ogakwu, the commission equally ordered the All Progressive Congress (APC) to promptly fill the vacancy created by the demise of the party’s candidate for the election, Prince Abubakar Audu.
The decision to fix the supplementary election on December 5 was taken after several hours deliberation by the the consortium of legal luminaries and the eggheads of the commission comprising the chairman, Professor Mahmood Yakubu, and the five other National Commissioners in Abuja on Tuesday.
It could be recalled that the death of Prince Audu, made public shortly after INEC declared the Kogi election inconclusive, created legal confusion and constitutional crisis, resulting in INEC assembling and meeting with the consortium of lawyers on Tuesday to advise it on the best solution to the problem.
Although the December 5 date for the supplementary election clashed with the Bayelsa State governorship election, a reliable source at the commission told Daily Sun in confidence that it will not constitute any problem since one National Commissioner can conveniently handle the election in the remaining 91 polling units in Kogi.
Confiding on our correspondent, the source pointed out that the commission has no option than to take such decision, arguing that though it is oblivious of the legal tussle that would trail the decision on the supplementary, it is however better than not taking decision at all.
“Yes, the Commission is very much aware that the date for the supplementary clashed with the Bayelsa governorship election but it resolved since one National Commissioner can handle the supplementary in Kogi holding only in 91 polling units, the election will continue.
“Just as every other Nigerian, the commission equally knows very well that the decision may not be the final but it is better to take such decision than not taking at all. If INEC didn’t take any decision at all, it would seem as if the commission is not a serious one,” our source noted.
The Commission in the statement however disclosed that the decision has become expedient after receiving an official letter from APC notifying the electoral commission of the death of its candidate for the election, stressing that the commission acted based on legal advises from the consortium of lawyers.
The commission further noted that the duration given for the conduct of the supplementary was to allow APC ample time to fill the vacancy created by the death of its former candidate, adding that it has by the statement served a notice to all the other political parties participating in the Kogi governorship election about the date.
According to the release; “The Independent National Electoral Commission conducted governorship election in Kogi on November 21, 2015, which was declared inconclusive. On the November 23, 2015, the All Progressives Congress (APC) notified the commission of the death of its governorship candidate in the election, Prince Abubakar Audu. The commission has after due consideration of the circumstances decided as follows.
“To conclude the process by conducting election in the 91 affected polling units as announced by the returning officer. To allow the APC to fill the vacancy created by the death of its candidate and to conduct the supplementary election on December 5, 2015.
“Accordingly notice is hereby given to all the 22 political parties participating in the Kogi governorship election that supplementary election in the 91 affected polling units shall hold on December 5, 2015,” the Mrs Ogakwu signed release noted.

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