NIGERIA’S Independent National Electoral Commission (Inec) has fixed November 30 as the date when supplementary elections will be held in Kogi West Senatorial District to determine the outcome of the recent by-election.
Last weekend, voters in Kogi West Senatorial District went to the polls to participate in the rescheduled elections after Nigerian Court of Appeal had nullified the original ones that took place in February. In what was a two-horse race between Senator Melaye of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and former senator, Smart Adeyemi of the All Progressives Congress (APC), the elections was characterised with thuggery, ballot box snatching, violence and intimidation.
As a result, Inec declared the results inconclusive, saying that there needs to be re-runs in some polling units where irregularities took place. However, Senator Melaye visited Inec’s headquarters in Abuja earlier this week, asking that the whole election be scrapped and a fresh set of polls conducted.
Inec, has however, decided to proceed with the elections saying that fresh polling will only take place in those units where there was disruption, ballot box snatching and the cancellation of results. So far, Senator Adeyemi has a total of 80,118 votes, while Senator Melaye scored 59,548 votes.
Festus Okoye, Inec’s national commissioner, said the commission would simultaneously conduct a re-run poll in the Ajaokuta Federal Constituency seat on the same day. He pleaded with all political parties and stakeholders to cooperate with Inec’s personnel so that it could deliver a conclusive exercise.
Mr Okoye said: “At the conclusion of the court-ordered Kogi West Senatorial re-run election on 16th November, 2019, supplementary polls were indicated by the collation/returning officer for the senatorial district, affecting 20 registration areas, 53 polling units and 46,767 registered voters, spread across seven local government areas of the senatorial district. In addition, the court ordered the conduct of a supplementary re-run poll in Ajaokuta Federal Constituency affecting 22 polling units.
“The list of affected registration areas and polling units will be uploaded on our website and communicated to the stakeholders in the respective registration areas and polling units. We enjoin all the political parties and stakeholders to cooperate with the commission for conclusive free and credible elections in the affected areas.”