The Independent National Electoral Commission on Tuesday fixed March 23 for supplementary polls in six states where governorship elections were declared inconclusive after the March 9 elections.

This was contained in a statement issued by the National Officer and Chairman, Information and Voter Education Committee, Mr Festus Okoye, after a meeting of the senior management team of the electoral body to review the conduct of the 29 governorship and 991 state Houses of Assembly elections on March 9.

Okoye stated, “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.”

He added that supplementary elections would also hold in polling units in all states where state Houses of Assembly polls were declared inconclusive and winners could not be declared.

INEC, he said, would give details of the constituencies and polling units and registered voters of where the polls would take place on its website on Wednesday (today).

Okoye explained that the elections were declared inconclusive due to the discontinuation of the use of smart card readers midway into the polls, failure to deploy them, over-voting and violence.

He added, “In compliance with the margin of lead principle derived from sections 26 and 53 of the Electoral Act 2010 (as amended) and paragraphs 41 (e) and 43 (b) of the INEC Regulations and Guidelines for the conduct of the 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.”

Okoye added that INEC would set up a panel to address the issue surrounding the disruption of the collation at the Tafawa Balewa Local Government Area of Bauchi State.

INEC said it would meet again to discuss the Rivers State case which it described as “peculiar.”

The Punch

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