APC Yet To Notify Us Of Audu’s Death – INEC •To Make Position On Kogi Polls Known This Week
The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) yesterday said it had not yet been formally notified by the All Progressives Congress (APC) of the death of its candidate in last Saturday’s inconclusive governorship election in Kogi State.
This is even as the electoral umpire said it would apply available legal provisions to arrive at a decision on the recent turn of events in the state soon as it receives official notification of Audu’s demise from the APC.
Deputy Director of Publicity at INEC, Mr Nick Dazang, stated this in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Abuja.
According to Dazang, “APC has to do proper notification, and accompany it with the certificate of death issued by a medical doctor”.
On the legal implication of the APC candidate’s death on the electoral process in Kogi, he said:
“When something like this happens, the party on which platform the candidate contested will need to notify the commission; of course, we have heard and read like everyone else but we need to be notified.
“Once the commission is notified, it will look at relevant clauses of the 1999 Constitution as amended, the Electoral Act 2010 as amended and also the Constitution of APC itself.
“All these relevant laws will be looked at with a view to determine what to be done to ensure that whatever is done subsequently is done within the ambit of the law.
“INEC as a law-abiding body will do everything prescribed by the law.
“Thankfully we have a consortium of Senior Advocates of Nigeria (SAN) that provide counsel to the commission. We also have a very vibrant legal service department, headed by a SAN”.
He said before the report of the death of Audu, INEC, on the directive of its chairman, Professor Mahmood Yakubu, was already making provision for a supplementary election.
He, however, said INEC would follow the Constitution and not the opinion of people on the election, saying there were legal provisions for such incident.
The director assured that because of the urgency of the issues involved in the supplementary election, INEC would prepare itself to commence consultation.
According to him, INEC will not fold its arms in a very serious incident like this.
Mr. Dazang also expressed optimism that INEC would come out with its position about the election before the end of the week, saying that the Electoral Act prescribed 14 days for the conduct of supplementary elections.
He, however, kept mum on whether INEC would proceed with a supplementary election or conduct a fresh poll in Kogi with the APC presenting a new candidate to replace the late Audu, who was already coasting home to victory but for the inconclusiveness of the poll.