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Kogi extra polls hold December 5

Malami

Malami

APC will substitute candidate, says AGF

AS the debate over the constitutional crisis generated by the inconclusive governorship election in Kogi State rages, the Minister of Justice and Attorney -General of the Federation (AGF), Mr. Abubakar Malami (SAN) has charted a way forward. He noted that the All Progressives Congress (APC) would substitute its candidate.

There has been the debate as to what the options are for the APC and, the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) in view of the sudden ‎death of the party’s Prince Abubakar Audu in the election, which though he was leading, was declared inconclusive by INEC.

Meanwhile, INEC has asked the APC to fill the vacuum created by Audu’s death in order to continue with supplementary election.

In a statement signed by the secretary to the commission, Augusta Ogakwu, on Monday, INEC also announced it would allow the conclusion of the election process by conducting supplementary election in the remaining 91 polling units where election was cancelled.

The supplementary election will hold December 5, INEC announced
Fielding questions from reporters at a forum in Abuja, Malami‎ said the election which was declared inconclusive, had to be concluded.

Although he did not say whether or not Audu’s running mate, James Fakeye, would automatically be stepped up as the party’s substantive candidate, Malami said that APC would have to substitute its deceased candidate for the purpose of the supplementary elections.

The issue is very straightforward. Fundamentally, Section 33 of the Electoral Act is very clear‎ and guarantees the right to substitute by a political party in case of death of its candidate.

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 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. ”

Asked if ‎that substitution would 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. That primaries that had taken place had not in any way been nullified. And it is recognised by law. But then a further consideration would be the idea of conducting fresh primaries but that is not envisaged in view of the sustainability of the first primaries.‎”

Meanwhile, tributes and condolences have continued for the late Audu with the state Governor Idris Wada, who was represented at the burial by his deputy, Yomi Awoniyi describing Audu’s death as “a painful loss not only to the state but the country at large.”
Wada who described Audu as a quintessential politician whose style of politics was about the people, added that he would be greatly missed at a time his services and counsel to the state were needed.

The governor commiserated with the people of the state, particularly the family he left behind and all members of APC, as he urged them to take solace in the fact that the former governor’s footprints on the sands of time remained indelible.



4 Comments
  • Joseph

    Should INEC decides to go ahead with the supplementary election come Dec. 5th, it should bear in mind that whatever the outcome may be, the living candidate with the highest votes emerges the winner.

  • SWEET DADDY

    How can it be supplementary election when one of the candidates is dead, the election should be rerun otherwise only the living candidate would win.

  • Atiroro

    Section 221 of the Constitution provides “No association other than a political party shall canvass for votes for any CANDIDATE at any election or contribute to the funds of any political party or to the election expenses of any CANDIDATE at an election.” This section does not by any stretch of imagination provide that a vote cast at an election in Nigeria is a vote cast for the party. It only says a political party is the only body or association that can canvass for votes ON BEHALF OF A CANDIDATE NOT THE PARTY!! Note also that the provision does not prohibit an individual from canvassing for votes at an election on behalf of a candidate. Clearly INEC is wrong in its interpretation of that constitutional provision and if it reli, the es on it to conduct a supplementary election, other parties can successfully challenge that allocation of the votes previously cast in favour of the deceased Audu to the APC. TYhe way out is for INEC to conduct fresh elections for all parties. Lets avoid a needless constitutional crisis!!

  • larr

    INEC is partisan in this case. Obviously it has demonstrated with her decision that it favours a political party. That is bad for democrary. You do not transfer votes cast for the dead to the living.

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