Ex-MP Urges INEC to seek judicial interpretations on Kogi guber poll
By; Oladele Adedayo, Ado-Ekiti
A Legal Practitioner and former member of the House of Representatives, Hon. Opeyemi Bamidele has urged the Independent Electoral Commission (INEC) to seek judicial
interpretations to save Kogi State from political instability as a result of the inconclusive Governorship poll held in the state last Saturday and the sudden demise of the leading contender.
Bamidele who represented Ekiti Central Federal Constituency 1 from 2011-2014, made the suggestion today in Ado-Ekiti, the Ekiti State capital.
He also said the developments surrounding the death of the All Progressives Congress Governorship candidate in the Poll, Prince Abubakar Audu needs serious judicial clarification and
that INEC must explore the opportunity to prevent anarchy.
Prince Audu died on Sunday after leading his closest rival and
incumbent governor, Capt. Idris Wada, in a keenly contested
governorship poll that was declared inconclusive by INEC.
The Legal Practitioner said it will be preposterous for the commission to rely wholly on Section 181 of the constitution, which allows the Deputy Governorship candidate to continue in case of this scenario or section 36(1) of the Electoral Act which empowers the commission to postpone election and allow party to substitute the candidate in case of death or infirmity.
He posited that as much as the aforementioned, section 121 of the constitution, which was applied in case of former River State
governor, Rotimi Amaechi that votes counted during elections are for the parties and not the candidates are relevant under this context.
Bamidele added that INEC committed a grievous error by not declaring the late Audu the validly elected governor, predicating this on the fact that the remaining 49,000 votes in 91 units where election was cancelled, that records show that only 25,000 had Permanent Voter Cards.
“To save Kogi State, and indeed the entire nation from an embarrassing constitutional faux pas, it is imperative for the INEC to seek a prompt legal interpretation from the judiciary before taking any further action on the purported inconclusive election, in order to avert errors that might be tantamount to setting bad precedents in the electoral law.
“In my considered personal and legal opinion, INEC committed an error in declaring Kogi election inconclusive in view of the fact that the number of voters who have picked up their PVCs in the remaining 91 units is far less than the number of vote difference between the two political parties in the concluded election, in such a way that even if all the 25,000 PVC-carrying prospective voters are to vote for the PDP in the supplementary election, it will not make a difference in the overall result” he avered.
He prayed God to comfort the Government and people of Kogi State at this trying moment and also give the immediate family of Prince Audu and the APC family the fortitude to bear the huge loss.
“I wish to commiserate with the Government and the people of Kogi State as well as the immediate family, political associates and
friends of Prince Abubakar Audu, the Kogi State All Progressives Party (APC) Gubernatorial candidate in the 21st November, 2015 governorship election.
“The death of Prince Audu at the climax of the election struck the
nation like a bomb shell and threw everyone in confusion and deep
sorrow, being the least expected thing to happen at this critical
moment of our national life.
“It is quite unfortunate that the unsuspecting hands of death waited for the deceased to mount a vigorous and most conscientious campaign, traversing the length and breadth of Kogi State for the past months while soliciting for the votes of the people, only to come like a thief in the night and snatch him away at the thick of the results declaration process by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC).
“I wish to also commiserate with the entire members and leaders of the All Progressives Congress (APC),Kogi State Chapter and the national leadership of the party for this colossal loss at a time the APC-led administration is just settling down to commence work in earnest following the composition and inauguration of the Federal Executive Council”, he concluded.