The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has cancelled the supplementary election it earlier scheduled to hold on Saturday, November 18, in Ogori-Magongo and some other local government areas of Kogi State.
The INEC’s Head of Voter Education and Publicity, in Kogi state, Haliru Sule, made this known in an interview with reporters in Lokoja, the state capital, on Tuesday.
Recall that the Commission had suspended election in over 50 polling units in Ogori-Mangogo and other local governments across the state because of pre-recorded result sheets and other electoral irregularities.
Speaking with reporters, Sule defended the declaration of Usman Ododo of the All Progressives Congress (APC) as the winner of Saturday’s Kogi governorship election despite planning to conduct supplementary elections in the state.
Sule said INEC applied the “margin of lead principle” in announcing Ododo as the winner of the election after he polled a total of 446,237 votes, and his closest rival, Murtala Ajaka of the Social Democratic Party (SDP) polled a total of 259,052 votes.
He said that the commission had received various complaints during Saturday’s election, which it investigated and announced a re-run in some polling units, but decided to cancel after it had announced the winner.
He said: “But when we looked at all that is in contention, we discovered that we have no option than to apply the margin of lead principle.
“The principle says, if the number of PVCs collected in polling units, where election didn’t hold or were cancelled, are not in excess of the difference between the winner and the loser, then the commission can go ahead and make its declaration.
“It’s true we did announce after our findings that there will be supplementary election in those areas in contention, but after due consideration to the difference, we applied the margin of lead principle.
“It was when we applied the margin of lead principle that we announced the result on Sunday, November 12, and declared the winner of the governorship election in Kogi, in the person of Alhaji Usman Ododo of the All Progressives Congress (APC).
“As it is now, there’s not going to be any supplementary or re-run in any polling unit in Kogi.
“By this, the governorship election in Kogi is concluded. What is left is the date for the issuance of a certificate of return to the winner of that election.”
Sule further noted that INEC was grateful to all the stakeholders involved in the conduct of the election.
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He added, “We hope to continue to get this kind of cooperation and support from all of them, particularly the politicians and the electorate, in subsequent elections in the state.”
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