By Lateef Ibrahim, Abuja
The Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, has resolved to conduct supplementary elections in States where elections were declared inconclusive on Saturday 23rd March, 2019 to conclude the process.
The affected states are: Adamawa, Bauchi, Benue, Kano, Plateau and Sokoto.
The decision was taken at a meeting held by the Commission to review the conduct of the 29 Governorship and 991 State constituency elections held on 9th March 2019.
INEC has similarly 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 said it found that there are issues that needed further investigation and has thus set up a team led by a National Commissioner to resolve them.
A statement after the meeting, signed by Mr. Features Okoye, INEC National Commissioner and Chairman, Information and Voter Education Committee, said “The Commission met today, (yesterday) l2th March 2019 and reviewed the conduct of the 29 Governorship and 991 State constituency elections held on 9th 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 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 [NEC 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,” Okoye said in the statement.