By-elections: INEC suspends Plateau officer, thugs kill one in Kaduna

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In response to allegations that some ballot papers used in the council area for the rerun elections in the Plateau North Senatorial District and the Jos North/Bassa Federal constituency seats were missing, the Independent National Electoral Commission suspended Fred Ogboji, the Electoral Officer for the Jos North Local Government Area of Plateau State, on Sunday.

According to The PUNCH, voter apathy and a lack of ballot papers were the main issues that plagued the INEC-conducted rerun elections for the Plateau North Senatorial District and the Bassa/Jos North Federal Constituency.

Angry voters who wanted to vote but were unable to do so because there weren’t enough ballots were holding some INEC officials hostage in some of the polling places.

Due to the development, the electoral body was compelled to postpone until Sunday the rerun elections in three Naraguta B Ward polling units and thirteen Tudun Wada/Kabong Ward polling units, all located in Jos North LGA.

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On Sunday, INEC instructed the Electoral Officer, Ogboji, to transfer his responsibilities to the upcoming senior officers so that the commission could finish the remaining portion of the election. The letter was sent by Isa Abah Idakwo, Head of Department, Electoral Operations, on behalf of the state Resident Electoral Commissioner.

“You are directed to step aside from office to enable the commission to carry out proper investigation and circumstances that led to the missing of Federal House of Representatives ballot papers in 16 polling units in your local government,” stated part of the letter dated February 4, 2024.

“You are also instructed to turn over control of the remaining procedures to Barrister Elekwa Onyemauche, the Local Government Supervisor, and the two RA Supervisors of Tudun Wada/ Kabong and Naraguta B (E O Shendam and E O Kanke Local Government Areas, respectively). I’m grateful.

The Inter-Party Advisory Council had earlier urged INEC to find and prosecute those responsible for the abrupt disappearance of ballots intended for specific areas during the Plateau State rerun election on Saturday.

IPAC stated that in the absence of such measures, those who engage in electoral fraud would persist in influencing public opinion, consequently harming the electoral umpire’s reputation.

In Kaduna, one person died

Sunday saw confusion in Rigachikun, in the Igabi Local Government of Kaduna State, after a 40-year-old man was killed by what appeared to be political thugs during Saturday’s by-election in the area.

An eyewitness claimed that Mansur Shafiu, the victim, was murdered by people who appeared to be political goons for trying to stop ballot box snatching.

The witness claimed that “one of the thugs pulled out a knife and stabbed him in an attempt to stop them.”

According to ASP Mansir Hassan, the Kaduna State Police Command spokesman, who verified the incident, the victim was shot by alleged political thugs who had stolen election supplies from the Tsohon Garin Rigachikun polling place.

He claimed that the victim, who was taken to the hospital but later passed away, had been shot in the leg by alleged political goons.

Mansur was reportedly a Sociology graduate of Kaduna State University.

Young people from Rigachikun staged a protest after the incident, blocking the Zaria-Rigachikun highway and trapping drivers. However, after the military intervened, things returned to normal.

On Sunday, however, the results of the by-elections and reruns from Saturday started to come in.

Hussaini Jallo of the Peoples Democratic Party was proclaimed the victor of the by-election for the Igaba Federal Constituency in Kaduna State.

In Ondo State, the Akoko North-East/Akoko North-West Federal Constituency was declared won by All Progressives Congress candidate Ife Ehindero.

In the Anambra State rerun elections for the Nnewi North, Nnewi South, and Ekwusigo Federal Constituencies, Peter Uzokwe of the Young Progressives Party prevailed.

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Chinwe Nnabuife, a different YPP candidate, was proclaimed the victor of the Orumba North and South Federal constituency.

INEC proclaimed Atigwe Simon of the PDP the victor of the state’s rerun election for the Udenu/Igbo-Eze North Federal Constituency in Enugu.

Meanwhile, the results of the senatorial by-election for Ebonyi South were announced, with Prof. Anthony Ani of the APC emerging victorious.

Musa Mustapha was proclaimed the victor of the Yobe East Senatorial by-election in Yobe State by INEC.

The APC won one of the three legislative seats in Sokoto State, while the PDP won two.

Prof. Abdullahi Bagudo, the returning officer for the Yabo/Shagari Federal Constituency, announced the results on Sunday morning. Yusuf Yabo was declared the winner with 27,041 votes overall, defeating Dan Bukari, the APC candidate, with 26,213 votes.

Additionally, Magaji Abubakar of the PDP was declared the election’s victor in the Bodinga North State Constituency by returning officer Prof. Farouk Tambuwal, with a total of 6,488 votes. With 5,893 votes, he defeated Yusuf Danchadi, the APC candidate and his closest rival.

 

In the meantime, Tambuwal West state constituency was declared won by APC candidate Dahiru Ahmed.

Ahmed defeated his closest rival and PDP candidate, Hantsi Romo, who received 19,021 votes, to be proclaimed the election’s winner by returning officer Prof. Bayero Kasim with 19,315 votes.

Shehu Tafoki, the APC candidate, was proclaimed the election’s victor in Katsina State’s Faskari/Kankara Constituency.

In the rerun, which was held in 20 polling places in the local government areas of Kankara and Faskari, Tafoki prevailed.

With 49,807 votes overall, Tafoki was declared the winner by the INEC.

With 49,067 votes, Tafoki, a former deputy speaker of the state house of assembly, defeated Jamilu Muhammad of the PDP, his closest opponent.

The candidates running for the two state Assembly seats in Kano State on Saturday were chosen by the New Nigeria People’s Party.

Prof. Shehu Galadanchi, the returning officer for the Kura/Garun Mallam election, declared that Alhassan Ishaq of the NNPP had received 37,262 votes, more than Musa Daurawar of the APC, who had received 30,803 votes.

Prof. Ibrahim Suraj, the Rimin Gado/Tofa returning officer, also declared that Bello Butu-Butu of the NNPP had received 31,135 votes, beating out the 25,577 votes cast for his opponent from the APC.

additional reports from John Charles, Olaide Oyelude, Hindi Livinus, Patrick Odey, Raphael Ede, Edward Nnachi, Uthman Abubakar, Justin Tyopuusu, Ikenna Obianeri, Daniels Igoni, Animasahun Salman, and Dele Ogunyemi

Yusuf Liman, an APC candidate and the former Speaker of the State House of Assembly, was proclaimed the victor of the Makera State Constituency by-election held on Saturday in Kaduna State.

According to INEC, Liman received 18,068 votes to defeat Solomon Katuka, the PDP candidate, who received 17,404 votes to finish second, and 3,709 votes from Usman Yakuti of the Labour Party.

With 24,178 votes, Nura Abubakar of the PDP defeated APC candidate Abbas Faisal, who received 22,438 votes, and Suleiman Umar of the Labour Party, who received 1,491 votes, to become the winner of the election in the Kudan State Constituency, according to the electoral umpire.

Similar to this, Hussein Jallo of the PDP defeated Zyyad Ibrahim of the APC in the Igabi Federal Constituency by collecting 47,313 votes as opposed to 43,915 votes.

With 18,566 votes, APC candidate David Jesse defeated PDP candidate Maria Dogo, who received 10,903 votes, and LP candidate Solomon Adamu, who received 3,285 votes, to win the Chikun State Constituency, according to INEC.

Alapala Ebitonmo, the APC’s candidate for House of Assembly in Delta State’s Burutu State Constituency 1, emerged victorious in the rerun election, defeating Asupa Forteta, the PDP candidate.

Alapala defeated Forteta with 7,728 votes, according to INEC, while Forteta received 6,616 votes.

INEC announced that Mr. Waikumo Amakoromo, the APGA candidate, had won the Yenagoa Constituency 2 run-off election in Bayelsa State. The election was held on Saturday across seven polling places in the constituency.

Prof. Chris Onyema, the Deputy Vice-Chancellor of the Federal University, Otuoke and the INEC returning officer, declared that Amakoromo had secured the majority of the votes, 5,959, to defeat the PDP’s Mrs. Ebiuwou Koku-Obiyai, who received 5,263 votes.

The APC’s Terwase Uche was proclaimed the victor of Saturday’s by-election in Benue by INEC.

Prof. Julius Ikyar, the returning officer, announced that Uche had scored 5,289, defeating Jimmy Geoffrey, the PDP candidate, who had received 4,134.

The PDP candidate, Musa Mahmud, was proclaimed the winner of Saturday’s by-election for the Mayo-Belwa state seat by INEC in Adamawa State.

Prof. Mohammed Ardo of the Modibbo Adama University, Yola, who served as INEC’s returning officer for the by-election and announced the results at the collation center in the Mayo-Belwa local government area on Saturday, returned Mahmud as the legitimately elected legislator for the state constituency seat after he received 1,306 votes, defeating Ibrahim Italiya, who received 874 votes.

The Young Progressives Party’s Emmanuel Ukpong-Udo has been proclaimed the victor of the Ikono/Ini Federal Constituency rerun in Akwa Ibom State.

After being elected to the House in 2019 on the Peoples Democratic Party platform, Ukpong-Udo is returning to the House of Representatives for a second term.

In the results made public on Saturday night by Nabie Jude, the Collation Officer for the Reps rerun, the YPP candidate received 24,050 votes overall, surpassing the total of 17,232 votes cast for his nearest rival and PDP candidate, Dr. Glory Edet.

In a similar vein, Moses Easien, a YPP candidate, was declared the victor of the Saturday rerun election in the Ibiono Ibom State constituency by Collation Officer Godwin Ayi.

In the meantime, the Jalingo, Yorro, and Zing House of Representatives by-elections were ruled inconclusive by INEC on Sunday.

This was revealed by Prof. Daniel Ayuba, the Returning Officer for the election, following the compilation of results from the three local government councils that comprise the Jalingo constituency.

Alhaji Tafida Sadiq, the PDP candidate, received 17,214 votes overall, while Mr. Innocent Jabayang, the Social Democratic Party candidate and first runner-up, received 15,537 votes. According to Ayuba, this means that there was a 1,677 vote difference between the two.

“A principle in the current Electoral Act states that no results can be declared and no one can be declared returned if the margin of victory is less than the total number of PVCs collected in the areas where an election is cancelled.

“According to our calculations and the results at our disposal, the margin of victory is less than the 14,759 total PVCs that were gathered in the districts where the election was postponed or canceled.

As a result, “the election is inconclusive and a rerun between the candidate with the highest number of votes and the first runner-up would be held in the respective areas.”

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