The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) will, on Saturday, conduct bye-elections for some federal and state legislative houses in 11 states.
The commission had suspended the polls, earlier scheduled to hold in October, following the violence in many parts of the country, resulting from the #EndSARS protest against police brutality.
However, due to the improved security situation in the country, INEC, on November 13, announced December 5 for the conduct of the bye-elections.
The electoral commission also explained that the new date was fixed following consultation between INEC and relevant parties in the electoral process on the security situation in parts of the country.
However, the senatorial bye-elections are to be conducted in Bayelsa Central, Bayelsa West, Cross River North, Imo North, Lagos East and Plateau South senatorial districts.
The Commission would be conducting nine State House of Assembly bye-elections in eight states following the deaths of all former members from Bauchi, Enugu, Kogi, Borno, Cross Rivers, Katsina, Zamfara, and Lagos states.
Meanwhile, four of the six senatorial bye-elections are to fill legislative seats that became vacant due to the death of their former occupants from Cross River North, Imo North, Lagos East and Plateau south.
The remaining two senatorial bye-elections are to fill seats for Bayelsa Central and Bayelsa West, in which Douye Diri and Lawrence Ewhrudjakpo, represented the districts before they were elected as governor and deputy governor of the state respectively.
The electoral umpire had expressed readiness to conduct a hitch-free election, amid the increasing number of COVID-19 cases ravaging the country.
According to data from the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control NCDC, there are over 60,000 COVID-19 cases in Nigeria.
Although, INEC had reassured that the COVID-19 safety protocols would be observed during the poll, urging voters, party agents, observers and election officials to come to the polling units with their face masks.
What to know State/ Federal Bye-elections
According to data from INEC, the Bauchi State House of Assembly election would feature eight political parties that would jostle for the polls, following the death of late Musa Baraza, who represented Dass LGA.
In Enugu, a total of nine political parties, including three female candidates, would contest the Isi-Uzo State House of Assembly bye-election following the death of late Chijioke Ugwueze, who represented the LGA.
INEC had said a total of 69,626 voters would cast their ballot in the 11 wards, across 118 polling units.
Kogi State Ibaji State House of Assembly would see eight political parties and two women battle the polls, following the death of late John Abah.
The electoral commission has said about 76, 575 voters will participate in the Saturday’s polls in 148 polling units spread across 10 wards in the council area.
While Cross Rivers would have six political parties and one female contest in the Obdu State House of Assembly bye-elections coming after the death of its former member late Stephen Ukpukpen.
Borno, plagued by Boko Haram terrorism, would also be having two State House of Assembly bye-elections in Bayo and Nganzai following the deaths of its two members Umar Audi, and Wakil Lawan, who died from Coronavirus-related complications.
A total of seven political parties with no female candidate will contest the Saturday polls, while about 710 INEC ad-hoc staff who would monitor the elections.
While in Katsina State, hundreds of constituents of Bakori LGA would be re-electing a representative for the State House of Assembly elections as a result of the death of Abdurazak Tsiga.
A total number of 13 political parties with one female would be contesting in the Saturday’s polls.
In Lagos state, a total 8 political parties with one female would be contesting the Kosofe II LGA State House of Assembly bye-elections in 1,928 polling units. The election comes after the deaths of Adebayo Osinowo.
The State Commissioner of Police, Lagos State, Hakeem Odumosu, had declared restriction of movement on the day between 6 am and 6 pm.
Zamfara State would have the highest number with 14 political parties and no female candidate in the Bakura State House of Assembly Bye-elections, following the death of Tukur Jekada who represented the LGA.
A federal high court in Abuja had, on Friday, disqualified Frank Ibezim as the candidate of the All Progressive Congress APC senatorial candidate for the bye-elections in Imo State.
Mr Ibezim had challenged the declaration of the federal high court in Imo, which ordered the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to replace his name with that of an aspirant Ifeanyi Ararume.
Justice Inyang Ekwo, who gave the order, said the affidavit and documents submitted by Mr Ibezim were falsified and uncertified photocopies of the West African Examination Council (WAEC) certificate substituted to INEC, The Cable newspapers reported.
Justice Ekwo also directed INEC to remove Mr Ibezim’s name from the list of candidates for the bye-election.
Similarly, a High Court in Abuja, had ordered that Jarigbe Jarigbe, of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) be duly elected candidate for the Cross River North Senatorial bye-election.
Justice Binta Mohammed, in the judgment delivered last month, held that the primary election that produced Mr Jarigbe as the candidate of the PDP, was conducted with the authentic and legitimate delegates’ list of the ward and local government areas executives of the party.
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