The Independent National Electoral Commission has fixed supplementary elections in six states for Saturday, March 23, 2019.
The Punch reports that the Commission has also set up a panel led by a National Commissioner to resolve the controversies over the results of Bauchi State governorship election which was declared inconclusive.
INEC noted that governorship elections in the six states were declared inconclusive for a combination of reasons, including the discontinuation of use of the Smart Card Readers midway into the elections, failure to deploy SCRs, over-voting and widespread disruption in many polling units.
A statement issued on Tuesday night by INEC National Commissioner and chairman of its Information and Voter Education Committee, Festus Okoye, said the decision was part of the resolutions reached after an emergency meeting held in Abuja.
Okoye also said the Commission had considered a report submitted by the Resident Electoral Commissioner for Bauchi State, Ibrahim Abdullahi, on the disruption of results collation at the Tafawa Balewa Local Government Area collation centre, which led to the cancellation of results for the entire LG.
INEC, he said, found that there were issues that needed further investigation and has set up a team led by a National Commissioner to resolve them.
The statement reads: “The Commission met today (Tuesday) March 12 2019 and reviewed the conduct of the 29 governorship and 991 State constituency elections held on March 9 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 March 23 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 on Wednesday March 13 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.”