Abuja - A fresh crisis is brewing over the Kogi State supplementary election.
The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) on Monday issued a statement saying it would go ahead with the conduct of supplementary poll despite the death of the All Progressives Congress (APC) governorship candidate, Abubakar Audu on Sunday.
The commission said it arrived at the new date to allow the APC fill the vacancy created by the death of Audu.
Audu’s death had sparked a debate on how the matter will be handled since the Constitution and the Electoral Act did not envisage such a scenario.
Prior to INEC’s statement, the Attorney-General of the Federation (AGF), Abubakar Malami (SAN) at an event in Abuja on Monday said INEC does not need to conduct a fresh election, noting that by the provision of relevant laws, APC could substitute its governorship candidate ahead of the supplementary election to replace Audu.
Also read: Presidency rules out fresh governorship election in Kogi
While the All Progressives Congress (APC) has listed condition for its participation in the poll, the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) has rejected INEC’s decision, accusing the commission and Malami of taking hasty decisions.
The APC , which rose from a meeting in Abuja on Monday, said the only condition for the party’s participation in the supplementary election would be if the commission communicates it and defines in clear terms whether the 49 000 votes are the ones registered for the election or people with the Permanent Voters Card (PVC).
But in kicking against the supplementary election, National Publicity Secretary of PDP, Olisa Metuh, accused the AGF of stampeding INEC to take what he called a hasty decision on the Kogi election.
The PDP said it was shocked that INEC, a supposedly independent electoral umpire, could allow itself to succumb to the antics of the APC by following the unlawful directive of an obviously partisan AGF to substitute a candidate in the middle of the ballot process.
The party vowed to challenge INEC’s decision in court.
The party equally called for the resignation of Malami and the chairman of INEC Prof. Mahmud Yakubu.
- News 24