Inconclusive Elections: Reps urge INEC not to subvert will of Nigerians

Members of the House of Reps
Members of the House of Reps

The House of Representatives has urged the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) not to subvert the will of Nigerians by declaring elections inconclusive.

The house made this call while adopting a motion of urgent national Importance brought before it by Sunday Karimi (PDP Kogi) at the plenary on Wednesday.

While adopting the motion, the lawmakers urged the commission to adhere to the Nigerian constitution by allowing aggrieved parties to proceed to relevant tribunals in order to ensure peace, security and promote the credibility of the process.

INEC had declared elections in six states inconclusive following cancellation of results in some polling units in the states.

The commission subsequently fixed March 23 for supplementary elections in the states. They are Benue, Sokoto, Plateau, Adamawa, Kano and Bauchi states.

Mr Karimi while moving the motion said prior to the 2015 governorship election in Kogi, there were very few cases of inconclusive elections and reruns.

He said the frequent cases of inconclusive elections in the last four years had made some Nigerians refer to the electoral umpire as “Inconclusive National Electoral Commission”.

Mr Karimi said that though the constitution empowers INEC to come up with guidelines, some sections of the electoral guidelines were causing apprehension.

He said that the governorship election was declared inconclusive in the six states in spite of the fact that the leading candidates met the provisions of the constitution in Section 179(2).

Steer clear of Kano, Rep member warns Tinubu

Contributing to the debate, Aliyu Madaki (Kano, PDP) accused the national leader of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Bola Tinubu, of trying to meddle in the political affairs of Kano.

Mr Madaki, who is also the leader of the “Kwankwasiya Caucus” in the house, accused President Muhammadu Buhari of not acting in the face of “irregularities” carried out by INEC.

“If he (Buhari) has any integrity, it should be questioned seriously. We will not take it; we will not allow it. It will not happen.”

He said while his party (the PDP) will not rig elections or support electoral violence, “nobody will rig us out” in Kano.

“Nobody will come to Kano and say this must be done. Kano is not Lagos,” he added.

Also contributing, Muhammad Soba from Kaduna State, said INEC has no powers to declare elections inconclusive after results have been collated at the poll.

“Regarding any result announced at the polling unit, nobody has the power to cancel such results. Once the result has been declared at the polling unit, no one can interfere at even the ward level let alone the state collation centre,” he said.

Femi Gbajabiamila, majority leader of the house, however, suggested an electoral amendment to address the issue.

“inconclusiveness should be something of the past but how do we get there? Amending the electoral law to limit the powers of INEC.”

“The supreme court already ruled on this and said INEC has such powers; so the only way to change the supreme court ruling is to amend our law,” Mr Gbajabiamila said.

The House resolved to set up a committee to advise it on the next line of action.

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