Why INEC declared Kogi Governorship election inconclusive

KOGI INEC-1The Independent National Electoral Commission failed to the declare the candidate of the All Progressive Congress (APC), now deceased, Prince Abubakar Audu winner of Saturday’s governorship election in Kogi State despite wide lead over the incumbent candidate of the PDP, Idris Wada.

Although results already declared by the Returning Officer, Professor Emmanuel Kucha, the Vice-Chancellor of the University of Agriculture, Makurdi, had indicated that the APC candidate scored 240,867 while Idris Wada of the People’s Democratic Party garnered 199,514 votes, the electoral umpire still declared the outcome of the poll inconclusive.

According Professor Kucha, the election was inconclusive because the margin of votes between Audu and Wada was 41,353, while the total number of registered voters in 91 polling units in 18 local government areas where election was cancelled was 49,953.

The figure of voters yet to cast their votes is higher than the 41,353 votes with which Audu is ahead of Governor Wada, he explained.

The returning officer further said by INEC guidelines, no return could be made for the election until a supplementary election is held in areas where the election was cancelled. His words: “Going by the INEC approved guidelines and regulations for the conduct of the 2015 election on pages 22 and 23, paragraph 4 section M, the Returning Officer is directed to act whenever the margin of win between the two candidates is not in excess of the total number of registered voters in polling units where elections were cancelled, the returning officer is to decline to declare a winner until another poll is conducted in those areas and the results computed into a new form, form EC8E. “Applying the provisions of the above quoted guidelines therefore, the number of registered voters in the polling units where results were cancelled or not held is in excess and consequently, this election is therefore declared inconclusive,” he said.

The collated results had shown that the APC candidate had an edge over his PDP opponent in 21 local government areas of the state, scoring 41,353 more votes. The local governments won by Audu are: Ofu, Ida, Kabba Bunu, Yagba East, Yagba West, Adavi, Koton Karfi, Ankpa, Okehi, Ajaokuta, Ijumun, Olamaboro, Igalamela, Bassa, Lokoja, and Ibaji. The PDP was victorious in five local governments namely Ogori Mangogo, Omala, Okene, Dekina and Mopa-Moro.

By Olisemeka Obeche

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