The supplementary election that was originally planned to take place in Ogori-Magongo and a few other local government areas of Kogi State on Saturday, November 18, has been cancelled by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC).
Haliru Sule, the INEC’s Head of Voter Education and Publicity for Kogi state, revealed this to media on Tuesday in Lokoja, the state capital.
Recall that due to pre-recorded result sheets and other electoral anomalies, the Commission had suspended voting in more than 50 polling places in Ogori-Mangogo and other local governments around the state.
In an interview with reporters, Sule stated that even though the state intended to have extra polls, he supported Usman Ododo of the All Progressives Congress (APC) being proclaimed the victor of Saturday’s Kogi governorship election.
Sule said that INEC used the “margin of lead principle” to declare Ododo the election’s victor after he received 446,237 votes, while Murtala Ajaka of the Social Democratic Party (SDP), who was his closest opponent, received 259,052 votes.
He added that after receiving numerous complaints during the election on Saturday, the commission looked into them, called for a rerun in a few polling places, but ultimately decided to call off the vote once the winner had been declared.
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.
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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