The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) in Benue state on Monday said it is conducting a supplementary election in Ohimini state constituency following the sack of the earlier occupier of the seat by the Court of Appeal.
INEC’s Resident Electoral Commissioner (REC) in Benue state, Nentawe Yilwatda, disclosed this at a press conference in Makurdi today.
Daily Trust reports that the appellate court had on November 8, 2019 sacked the Deputy Speaker of the Benue State House of Assembly, Christopher Adaji and ordered fresh election into disputed two polling units of Ohimini constituency.
Adaji had been returned winner of the March 9, 2019 election by INEC with a margin of 397 votes, which was less than 1,056 votes cancelled in the two polling units in contention.
According to Yilwatda, the commission in compliance with the court order would conduct fresh exercise in the two affected registrations areas and polling units.
He said the areas affected by the cancellation are Agadagba with polling unit in Igbanomaje consisting of 388 registered voters of which 377 collected their Permanent Voters Card (PVC) and Onyagede Icho (Ogoli) area where 663 PVC have been collected out of a total 668 registered voters.
He further disclosed that a total of 1,040 voters with PVC are expected to cast votes during the exercise since those who have not collected their PVC will not be able to do so as the commission had earlier returned uncollected PVC to the Central Bank of Nigeria for safe-keeping.
Yilwatda added that only the 16 political parties which appeared on the March 9, 2019 ballot paper would be allowed to participate in the Saturday, January 25, 2020 supplementary election, stressing that the result would be computed together with the earlier election in order for a winner to emerge.
Our correspondent reports that Adaji of PDP scored a total of 6,522 votes in the earlier election which INEC had declared him winner and was followed closely by Musa Alechenu of the APC with 6,125 votes.
Alechenu however dragged the PDP candidate before the National/State House of Assembly Election Tribunal whose ruling the Appeal Court presided over by the presiding Judge of the 3-man panel, Justice I. G. Mbaba, affirmed.