The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has scheduled a fresh election for Saturday, 18 November, in 59 polling units. Mohammed Kudu Haruna, a National Commissioner and Member of the Information and Voter Education Committee at INEC, announced this decision in a statement on Sunday. The primary incident of electoral malpractices occurred in nine out of 10 wards in Ogori/Magongo Local Government Area (LGA).
Haruna specified, “We received reports of similar and other incidents in Adavi (5 Polling Units in Okunchi/Ozuri/Onieka Ward), Ajaokuta (5 Polling Units in Adogo Ward), Okehi (1 Polling Unit in Eika/Ohizenyi Ward), and Okene (5 Polling Units in Obehira Uvete Ward). Results from the affected Polling Units have been accounted for in Form EC40G for the four LGAs.”
He went on to explain that, in Ogori/Magongo LGA, only the result of Oshobane Ward II with eight Polling Units and 2,264 registered voters has been collated. However, the election in the other nine wards, comprising 59 Polling Units and 15,136 registered voters, remains suspended. Following Section 24(3) of the Electoral Act 2022 and Clause 59 of INEC Regulations and Guidelines on the Conduct of Elections 2022, a fresh election is set to take place on Saturday, 18th November 2023, in the affected Polling Units.
Haruna emphasized that this decision is contingent on the Returning Officer’s determination of the application of the Margin of Lead Principle. He also stated, “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.”
Haruna concluded by reassuring voters in Kogi State that their votes will continue to count, and their wishes will be respected.