INEC 'We're not officially aware of Audu's death, so he's still guber aspirant' - Commission says

INEC said the commission would apply available legal provisions on the recent development over Saturday’s poll in Kogi, insisting that the APC must properly notify the commission.

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The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), has said that the death of Audu Abubakar, the All Progressives Congress (APC) candidate in the inconclusive Kogi governorship election, has not been officially reported to the Commission.

Speaking in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria in Abuja on Monday, Nov. 23, the Deputy Director of Publicity of INEC, Mr Nick Dazang, said the commission would apply available legal provisions on the recent development over Saturday’s poll in Kogi, insisting that the APC must properly notify the commission.

"APC has to do proper notification and accompany it with the certificate of death issued by a medical doctor," he said.

Audu, who was leading the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) candidate and incumbent governor of the state, Idris Wada, in the election which was declared inconclusive by INEC, died suddenly on Sunday in his home in Ogbonicha.

Dazang further stated that despite Audu's death being public knowledge, unless his party officially notifies INEC, it is assumed that he is still APC's gubernatorial aspirant in Kogi state.

He said the current situation will not allow the the commission to take necessary legal solutions to the matter and make pronouncement on its position.

 "When something like this happens, the party on which platform the candidate contested will need to notify the commission. Of course, we have heard and read like everyone else but we need to be notified.

"Once the commission is notified, it will look at relevant clauses of the 1999 Constitution as amended, the Electoral Act 2010 as amended and also the constitution of APC itself.

"All these relevant laws will be looked at with a view to determining what to be done to ensure that whatever is done subsequently is done within the ambit of the law.

"INEC as a law-abiding body will do everything prescribed by the law.

"Thankfully we have some Senior Advocates of Nigeria (SAN) that provide counsel to the commission. We also have a very vibrant legal service department, headed by a SAN," Dazang said.

He added that INEC had already started making provision for a supplementary election before Audu was reported dead - noting that the commission would follow the constitution and not the opinion of people on the election, saying there were legal provisions for such incident.

The late politician was buried today, October 23, according to Islamic rites.