Politics

Supplementary Polls To Hold In Six States March 23-Says INEC

The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has announced that March 23 date for supplementary elections in Adamawa, Bauchi, Benue, Kano, Plateau and Sokoto where Saturday’s governorship poll was declared inconclusive.

The commission announced the development in a statement signed by Mr Festus Okoye, National Commissioner and Chairman, Information and Voter Education Committee (IVEC), on Tuesday in Abuja.

Okoye said that the decision was taken by the commission in a meeting on Tuesday where it reviewed the conduct of the Governorship and State Constituencies elections.

He said that the elections held in 29 states for governorship and in 991 constituencies for House of Assembly.

“In all, the commission declared winners in the Governorship elections in 22 states.

“However, the Returning Officers in Adamawa, Bauchi, Benue, Kano, Plateau and Sokoto declared the Governorship elections inconclusive.

“Consequently, the commission will conduct supplementary elections on Saturday, March 23, to conclude the process.

“Supplementary elections will also hold in polling units in all states where State Assembly elections were declared inconclusive and winners could not be declared,” he said.

Okoye said that details of the constituencies, including number of polling units and registered voters, would be published on INEC’s website on Wednesday.

He explained that the elections were declared inconclusive for a combination of reasons.

These, he said, included mainly the discontinuation of use of the Smart Card Readers midway into the elections or the failure to deploy them, over-voting and widespread disruption in many polling units.

Okoye said that conduct of the supplementary elections was in line with “Margin of Lead Principle” in Sections 26 and 53 of the Electoral Act 2010 (as amended) and paragraph 41(e) and 43(b) of the INEC Regulations and Guidelines.

According to him, the outcome of these elections cannot be determined without conducting polls in the affected polling units, hence the commission’s decision to conduct supplementary elections in line with this principle.

Okoye also disclosed that INEC had considered a report submitted by the Resident Electoral Commissioner for Bauchi State on the disruption of the collation at Tafawa Balewa Local Government Area collation centre.

He said that situation led to the cancellation of results for the entire local government.

He added that INEC found out that there were issues that needed further investigation and had set up a team led by a National Commissioner to resolve them.

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