The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has declared Adamawa State governorship election, inconclusive.
This was announced by the state returning officer, Andrew Haruna, a professor, who said the inconclusive declaration was necessitated by the margin of votes between the two top candidates which is lesser than total votes voided in about 40 polling units.
The returning officer said there are 40,988 votes that were cancelled in 44 polling units across the state.
“The margin of lead is 32,476; and going by the margin of lead which is backed up by law in the INEC Regulations and guidelines for the conduct of elections,” said Mr Haruna.
He cited INEC laws that sanctioned his action.
“In page 17 paragraph C of the Regulations and Guidelines for the Conduct of Elections on the margin of lead principle state that where the margin of lead between the two leading candidates in an election is not in excess of the total number of voters registered in polling units where elections are not counted or voided, in line with Section 26 and 53 of Electoral Act, the Returning officer shall decline to make a return until votes have taken place in the affected polling units and the results collated in to the relevant forms for declaration and return.
“This is the margin of lead principle and shall apply wherever necessary in making returns in all elections to which this Regulations and Guidelines apply.”
The returning officer thereby declared that, “Looking at the total number of votes which has been harvested from the total number of voters registered in the 44 Polling Units, in the 29 Registration Areas, the Margin of Lead Principle should apply.
“And, therefore, I declare this exercise inconclusive.”
Before the election was declared inconclusive, the candidate of the People’s Democratic Party (PDP), Ahmadu Fintiri, was leading in the Adamawa state governorship election.
Mr Fintiri led the incumbent governor, Jibrila Bindow with a vote margin of 32, 476 votes.
Mr Fintiri polled 367, 471 votes in the inconclusive election, while the governor, Mr Bindow polled 334, 995 votes.
The party with the third largest votes was ADC which polled 113, 205 votes.
The returning officer said the total registered voters in Adamawa state was 1,973, 083.
He said a total 894, 481 voters were accredited for the election.
INEC will announce a fresh date for the second leg of the election to conclude the exercise.