The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) says the All Progressives Congress (APC) has yet to inform it about the death of its Kogi State governorship candidate, Prince Abubakar Audu.
Deputy Director of Publicity and Voters Education of the commission, Mr. Nick Dazang, stated this in an interview with journalists in Abuja on Monday.
He said in informing the commission of the death, the party must present a copy of the certificate of death of the deceased.
Dazang said, “The APC has to do proper notification and accompany it with the certificate of death issued by a medical doctor.”
Dazang said INEC would apply the relevant laws and make a pronouncement on its position on the election once it receives an official notification of Audu’s death from the APC.
He explained that there were legal provisions to address such incident in the country’s electoral process and the commission would duly follow the constitution and not the opinion of people on the election.
The INEC director added:
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 the 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 a consortium of Senior Advocates of Nigeria that provide counsel to the commission. We also have a very vibrant legal service department, headed by a SAN.
Dazang stated that before the report of the death of Audu, INEC, on the directive of its chairman, had started making plans for a supplementary election in Kogi State.
Dazang expressed the hope that the commission would come out with its position about the election before the end of the week, adding that the Electoral Act prescribed 14 days for the conduct of a supplementary poll.
He, however, said whatever the situation would be, Kogi election would not affect the Bayelsa State governorship poll as the commission had the capacity to handle the two elections.