THE Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, has slated March 23 for supplementary elections in states and constituencies where elections were declared inconclusive.
The governorship elections were deadlocked in six states namely Adamawa, Bauchi, Benue, Kano, Plateau, and Sokoto.
In a statement on Tuesday evening, INEC spokesperson, Festus Okoye, said the supplementary elections will also be held for inconclusive state assembly elections.
The commission explained the reasons for declaring elections in the affected states inconclusive. These include discontinuation of use of the smart card readers, the failure to deploy them, over-voting, widespread disruption in polling units and the principle margin of lead.
“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,” he said.
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, the outcome of these elections could not be determined without conducting polls in the affected polling units, the commission said.
The commission promised to make available details of the constituencies including the number of polling units and registered voters on its website on Wednesday, March 13.
Furthermore, the commission said it has also considered a report submitted by the Resident Electoral Commissioner for Bauchi State and seen the need to investigate further.
Collation was disrupted at the Tafawa Balewa LGA collation centre, Bauchi State leading to the cancellation of results for the entire local government.
“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 concluded.
Amos Abba is a journalist with the International Center for Investigative Reporting, ICIR, who believes that courageous investigative reporting is the key to social justice and accountability in the society.