The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has chosen Saturday, March 23, 2019 for supplementary elections in states where it had earlier declared elections inconclusive.
INEC announced the new date in a press statement signed by the National Commissioner in charge of Information and Voter Education, Festus Okoye, on Tuesday, March 12, 2019.
INEC, while explaining the new date, noted that it acted in compliance and also within the ambit of the Electoral Act.
It equally added that in the case of Bauchi state, an investigation team has been set up to look into the matter and ultimately arrive at an amicable resolution.
The statement reads: “The Commission met today, l2th March 2019 and reviewed the conduct of the 29 Governorship and 991 State constituency elections held on 9‘h March 2019. 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 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 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”.
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