The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) on Sunday, said it would conduct fresh polls in nine wards where election was suspended in Kogi State.
Recall that INEC had on Saturday, suspended the elections in nine wards in Ogori/Magongo Local Government Area of Kogi State.
The electoral umpire suspended the polls in the wards due to electoral malpractices, particularly the incident of result sheets completed before voting.
The commission also disclosed that the electoral malpractices were being thoroughly investigated, adding that the outcome would be communicated in 24 hours.
INEC National Commissioner and Member, Information and Voter Education Committee, Mohammed Haruna said fresh election has been scheduled to take place in the affected wards/polling units on November 18, 2023 in line with Section 24(3) of the Electoral Act 2022
The statement read “Further to our statement yesterday, we have received an update from our Kogi State office regarding the suspension of election in some locations in the state where result sheets were completed before the commencement of voting. The most critical incident occurred in nine out of 10 Wards in Ogori/Magongo Local Government Area.
“We received reports of similar and other incidents in Adavi (five polling Units in Okunchi/Ozuri/Onieka Ward), Ajaokuta (five polling Units in Adogo Ward), Okehi (one polling Unit in Eika/Ohizenyi Ward) and Okene (five polling Units in Obehira Uvete Ward). Results from the affected Polling Units have been accounted for in Form EC40G for the four LGAs.
“However, in the case of Ogori/Magongo LGA, only the result of Oshobane Ward II with eight Polling Units and 2,264 registered voters has been collated. Election in the other nine Wards (Eni, Okibo, Okesi, Ileteju, Aiyeromi, Ugugu, Obinoyin, Obatgben and Oturu) involving 59 Polling Units and 15,136 registered voters remain suspended. In line with Section 24(3) of the Electoral Act 2022 and Clause 59 of INEC Regulations and Guidelines on the Conduct of Elections 2022, fresh election will be held on Saturday November 18, 2023 in the affected Polling Units.
“The decision to hold fresh elections is subject to the Returning Officer’s determination of the application of the Margin of Lead Principle. However, this decision is without prejudice to our avowed commitment to follow the audit trail of personnel and materials to ascertain those who may have been complicit in undermining the process and apply appropriate sanctions where necessary.
“The commission wishes to reiterate its assurances to voters in Kogi State that their votes will continue to count and their wishes respected.”