Governorship elections in Sokoto, Bauchi, Adamawa and Plateau states will not be concluded until after rerun elections are conducted by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC).

Following the conduct of the March 9 elections, the electoral umpire has declared the results in all the four states inconclusive because the lead margin was lower than the total number of votes cancelled in certain areas.

According to Section 26 of the INEC Act, the commission cannot declare a winner if the number of cancelled votes can mathematically affect the outcome of an election.

In Sokoto, the incumbent governor, Aminu Tambuwal of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), polled a total of 489,558 votes, only 3,413 more votes than second-placed Aliyu Ahmed of the All Progressives Congress (APC) who polled 486,145 votes.

The lead margin was lower than the 75,403 votes cancelled in 136 polling units in 22 local government areas of the state. This led the state's returning officer, Professor Fatima Batulu Muktar, to declare it inconclusive.

"I cannot conclude this exercise and INEC will have to take a decision on this," she said early on Monday, March 11.

Sokoto State Governor, Aminu Tambuwal. Sokoto State Governor, Aminu Tambuwal.

A similar scenario also played out in Bauchi where the PDP's Sen. Bala Mohammed polled 469,512 votes while his closest rival and incumbent governor, APC's Mohammed Abubakar, polled 465,453 votes to finish in second place.

With only the result of 19 out of 20 local government areas accepted, the lead margin, at 4,059 votes, was lower than the 45,312 votes that were previously cancelled by INEC, excluding the result of Tafawa Balewa LGA which was also cancelled entirely.

"Therefore, based on Section 26 Part 53 of the Electoral Act, I hereby declare this result inconclusive," the state's returning officer, Prof. Mohammed Kyari, also announced on Monday.

The result of the Plateau State governorship election was similarly declared inconclusive with Simon Lalong of the APC polling a total of 583,255 votes while Jerry Useni of the PDP polled 538,326 votes.

Plateau State governor, Simon Lalong (left), and PDP governorship candidate, Jeremiah Useni (right) Plateau State governor, Simon Lalong (left), and PDP governorship candidate, Jeremiah Useni (right)

The lead margin of 44,929 votes was less than the total of 49,377 votes cancelled, leading the state's returning officer, Prof Richard Kimbir, to issue the directive for supplementary elections.

Also in Adamawa State, with 367,471 votes, Umaru Fintiri of the PDP is in the lead over the incumbent governor, Jibrilla Bindow, of the APC, who polled 334,995 votes, but the margin of 32,476 votes was lower than the 40,988 votes cancelled in 44 polling units.

According to the INEC Act, supplementary elections will take place only in the polling units where elections were cancelled. The elections will be conducted within 21 days of the initial polls.