Nigeria’s electoral body, INEC, has announced dates for by-elections into two vacant legislative seats in Jigawa and Kaduna states.
The commission in a statement signed by its spokesperson, Festus Okoye, on Friday, declared June 19, 2021, as the date for the conduct of by-elections to fill the vacant seat for Gwaram Federal Constituency of Jigawa State and Sabon Gari Constituency in the Kaduna State House of Assembly.
While the Gwaram Federal Constituency of Jigawa State became vacant following the demise of Yuguda Hassan-Kila on March 4, the Sabon Gari Constituency in Kaduna state became vacant due to the failure of its former occupant, Aminu Shagali, to attend one-third of the assembly meetings.
The lawmaker was alleged to have snubbed the state assembly’s meetings ‘without just course.’
“According to the State Assembly, the vacancy occurred as a result of the Hon Member’s absence without just cause from one-third of the meetings of the Assembly for one year in contravention of Section 109 (1)[f] and (2) of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, 1999 (as amended),” INEC stated in the statement.
Mr Shagali, a member of the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) and former speaker of the Kaduna State House of Assembly, has been representing the Sabon-Gari Constituency in the house since 2011 before he officially submitted his resignation letter to the Clerk of the House in February 2021.
The 40-year-old politician became speaker in 2015 and was reelected to preside over the assembly in 2019 allegedly on the recommendation of the state governor, Nasir El-Rufai.
The late Hassan-Kila was also a member of the APC representing the Gwaram Federal Constituency of Jigawa State for a second term before his death in Abuja hospital in early March.
He became the second federal lawmaker from Jigawa State to die in the current National Assembly, following Muhammad Adamu Fagen-Gawo who died in December 2019.
Having fixed the date for the two by-elections, INEC added that both polls will hold using existing polling units in the concerned constituencies while it continues to work on the expansion of voters’ access across the country.
“The Commission wishes to reiterate that since work on the expansion of voter access to Polling Units in the country is ongoing, the by-election will hold in the existing Polling Units and Voting Points across the Constituency covering Sabon Gari Local Government Area of Kaduna State,” the commission noted urging political parties to avoid rancorous primaries and violence during the campaigns and throughout the electoral process.
The commission said it will publish the notification for the elections on May 17 while the political parties have also been mandated to conduct their primaries between 18 and 24 of the same month.
“The Access Code for online submission of nomination forms will be available for collection from 24th May 2021 at the Commission’s headquarters in Abuja while the last day for submission of list of nominated candidates is 28th May 2021 at 6.00pm,” INEC announced.
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