Attorney-General clears air on INEC's declaration

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that stakeholders had canvassed divergent views on the way forward on the stalemate created by the death of Audu and the inconclusive governorship election.

 

The Attorney-General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Abubakar Malami has said that All Progressives Congress (APC) will substitute its candidate for the purpose of the supplementary election in Kogi.

Malami spoke in Abuja on Tuesday on the backdrop of the political stalemate created by the sudden death of the APC governorship candidate, Abubakar Audu, before the election was declared inconclusive.

The AGF, who was a guest of honour at a seminar organised by the Nigerian Law Reform Commission, said INEC would conclude the election as scheduled.

He also cleared the air that there will be no need for a fresh election in the state as being canvassed by a section of political and judicial analysts.

The minister was, however, silent on whether or not the APC should present Audu’s running mate, Abiodun Faleke, as the automatic replacement for the election

"The issue is very straightforward.

"Fundamentally, section 33 of the Electoral Act is very clear‎ that in case of death, the right for substitution by a political party is sustained by the provisions of section 33 of the Electoral Act.

"And if you have a community reading of that section with section 221 of the constitution which clearly indicates that the right to vote is the right of a political party and the party in this case, the APC has participated in the conduct of the election.

"It is therefore apparent that ‎the combination community reading of the two provisions does not leave any room for conjecture.

"APC as a party is entitled to substitution by the clear provisions of section 33 of the Electoral Act.

"Also section 221 of the Constitution is clear that the votes that were cast were cast in favour of the APC.

"Arising from that deduction, it does not require any legal interpretation.

"The interpretation is clear, APC will substitute, which right has been sustained by section 33 of the Electoral Act. So be it.

"The supplementary election has to be conducted along the line,’’ he said

On whether Faleke should be the beneficiary of the replacement, the minister said "It all depends on the appreciation of issues arising from the primaries conducted before now.

"There was a first and a second candidate.

"That primaries that had taken place over time had not by anyway been nullified and it is recognised by law.

"But then, a further consideration would be the idea of conducting another primary but that is not envisaged in view of the sustainability of the first primaries,’’ he said.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that stakeholders had canvassed divergent views on the way forward on the stalemate created by the death of Audu and the inconclusive governorship election.

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