Soludo leads; INEC technically tags Anambra Governorship election inconclusive

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Soludo leads; INEC technically tags Anambra Governorship election inconclusive

Nigeria’s Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has suspended the collation of results for the Anambra governorship election.

Prof. Florence Obi, the returning officer for the election, made the announcement after mid-night on Monday.

INEC stated it will hold a supplementary election in Ihiala LGA, on November 9, 2021.

Ahmadu Umar, the INEC collation officer for Ihiala LGA, reported that there was no election in the entire area. Umar noted that there are 148,407 registered voters in Ihiala LGA.

So far, from the collation gathered from 20 out of 21 LGAs of Anambra State, APGA’s Prof. Chukwuma Soludo won 103,946 votes, Sir Valentine Ozigbo of PDP got 51,322 votes, APC Senator Emmanuel ‘Andy’ Uba won 42,942.

Prof. Obi concluded that “based on constitutional considerations and provisions of the Electoral Act, as well as revised regulations and guidelines for the conduct of election issued by the commission, supplementary election is indicated for Ihiala local government area.” 

“First, section 179(2) of the constitution provides for a candidate to secure both the highest number of votes cast and 25 percent of the votes cast in at least two-third of the LGAs in the state to be declared the winner of the governorship election. Therefore, it is important to complete the election in Ihiala LGA to make this determination.

“Also, section 179(3) of the constitution provides that a runoff election shall take place if no candidate meets the requirement of subsection 2 of the section. Such a runoff shall be between the candidate with the highest number of votes and one among the remaining candidates who secured a majority of votes in the highest number of LGAs in the state. This further underscores the importance of conducting election in Ihiala LGA so that we shall cover all the LGAs to make the declaration.

“Secondly, section 26 of the Electoral Act envisages the postponement of an election where there is a cogent and verifiable reason to do so, especially threat of breach of the team. One major reason for not deploying for election in Ihiala on Saturday, 6th November, is due to security threats which led to staffing and transportation constraints, among others.

“Finally, clause 47 of the revised regulations and guidelines for the conduct of elections provides that supplementary election shall be conducted when the commission, due to logistical challenges, is unable to deploy on election day.

“Given the foregoing, it becomes imperative to bring Ihiala LGA at par with the other 20 LGAs in this election before we can make a valid declaration or take any further action based on the extant law.

“Therefore, I, Professor Florence Banku Obi, in my capacity as returning officer for this election, hereby announce the suspension of the process of collation of results and declaration of a winner until a supplementary election is held in the 326 polling units in Ihiala LGA of the state.”