The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) announced the suspension of elections in several locations in Kogi State, citing the completion of result sheets before the commencement of voting in affected polling units. In a statement released on Sunday evening, Mohammed Kudu Haruna, National Commissioner & Member of the Information and Voter Education Committee, clarified the situation.
“The most critical incident occurred in nine out of 10 Wards in Ogori/Magongo Local Government Area (LGA),” Haruna revealed. “We received reports of similar incidents in Adavi, Ajaokuta, Okehi, and Okene, where results from affected Polling Units have been documented in Form EC40G for the respective LGAs.”
Haruna highlighted the specific challenge in Ogori/Magongo LGA, stating, “In Ogori/Magongo local government area, only the result of Oshobane Ward 11 with eight Polling Units and 2,264 registered voters has been collated. Elections in the other nine Wards involving 59 Polling Units and 15,136 registered voters remain suspended.”
In accordance with Section 24(3) of the Electoral Act 2022 and Clause 59 of INEC Regulations and Guidelines on the Conduct of Elections 2022, INEC announced that fresh elections would be held on Saturday, November 18, 2023, in the affected Polling Units.
Haruna clarified, “The decision to hold fresh elections is subject to the Returning Officer’s determination of the application of the Margin of Lead Principle. However, this decision is without prejudice to our avowed commitment to follow the audit trail of personnel and materials to ascertain those who may have been complicit in undermining the process and apply appropriate sanctions where necessary.”
Despite the challenges, INEC reassured voters in Kogi State that their votes would continue to count, and their wishes would be respected.