- The Senate has approved a fresh primary to pick a replacement for a governorship or presidential candidate who dies after an election or before the announcement of results
- The Senate recommends that the conduct of a fresh primary should be done within 14 days to choose the new candidate
- The lawmakers also recommend the suspension of the poll by the Independent National Electoral Commission for 21 days
To avoid a repeat of the drama that played out in Kogi state last year, the Senate has proffered a solution to the controversy over who succeeds a governorship or presidential candidate who dies after election had begun and before the announcement of the results.
While passing the clauses of a bill seeking to amend the Electoral Act 2010 for the sixth time, the lawmakers, during the plenary on Thursday, December 1, recommended the conduct of a fresh primary should be done within 14 days to choose the new candidate, The Punch reports.
The bill also recommended the suspension of the poll by the Independent National Electoral Commission for 21 days.
The amendment in the Electoral Act 2010 was inspired by the development in Kogi during the last governorship election in the state.
The development had forced the suspension of the consideration of the report by the Committee on Independent National Electoral Commission on a bill titled, ‘A Bill for an Act to Amend the Electoral Act 2010.’
The report proposed the amendment of Section 36 of the Electoral Act by inserting a new ‘Subsection 3’ to address the legal logjam that greeted the last governorship election in Kogi state, after the death of the All Progressives Congress candidate, Prince Abubakar Audu, during the collation of results.
Audu, who died on Sunday, November 22, was buried on Monday, November 23, 2015, according to Muslim rites.
The late APC governorship candidate was leading his opponent Captain Idris Wada of the Peoples Democratic Party by 41,353 votes before his death. Hence, the INEC declared the poll inconclusive and scheduled a supplementary election in 91 polling units for Saturday, December 5, an election Audu's replacement Yahaya Bello won.
Bello was declared the winner of the Kogi state supplementary election after he was drafted into the Kogi state governorship race by the APC national leadership, following Audu's death.
Governor Bello, who is Igbirra from Kogi state’s central senatorial zone, had polled 703 votes to finish second to Audu who polled 1,109 votes in the APC primaries.