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INEC to conduct supplementary polls in Adamawa, Bauchi, Benue, Kano, Plateau, Sokoto March 23

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The Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC is to conduct supplementary governorship polls in Adamawa, Bauchi, Benue, Kano, Plateau and Sokoto on Saturday, March 23.

The governorship elections in Adamawa, Bauchi, Benue, Kano, Plateau and Sokoto held last Saturday, March 9 were declared inconclusive due to violence and cancellation of votes which were higher than the difference between the two leading candidates in each of the states.

Festus Okoye, INEC National Commissioner and Chairman, lnformation and Voter Education Committee made this known Tuesday at the end of the meeting of the Commission in Abuja.

Okoye said INEC declared winners in the governorship elections in 22 out of the 29 states where the polls were held.

“The Commission met today, 12th March 2019 and reviewed the conduct of the 29 Govemorship and 991 State constituency elections held on 9th March 2019. In all, the Commission declared winners in the Govemorship elections in 22 states.

“However, the Returning Officers in Adamawa, Bauchi, Benue, Kano, Plateau and Sokoto States declared the Governorship elections inconclusive. Consequently the Commission will conduct supplementary elections on Saturday 23rd March 2019 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. Details of the constituencies including number of polling units and registered voters, will be published on our website tomorrow Wednesday 13th March, 2019.

“The elections were declared inconclusive for a combination of reasons, 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.

“In compliance with the Margin of Lead Principle derived from Sections 26 and 53 of the Electoral Act mm (as amended) and paragraph 41(e) and 43(b) of the INEC Regulations and Guidelines for the conduct of elections, the outcome of these elections could not be determined without conducting polls in the affected polling units. Hence the Commission’s decision to conduct supplementary elections in line with this principle.

“Furthermore, the Commission has considered a Report submitted by the Resident Electoral Commissioner for Bauchi State on the disruption of the collation at the Tafawa Balewa LGA collation centre which led to the cancellation of results for the entire local government. The Commission found that there are issues that need further investigation and has set up a team led by a National Commissioner to resolve them”, he stated.

 

James Kwen, Abuja

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