INEC restricts parties to Direct, Indirect Primaries
The Independent National Electoral Commission, (INEC) has announced Saturday, 26th February 2022 for the conduct of bye-elections in certain federal Constituencies in the country.
A statement on Friday by National Commissioner and Chairman, Information and Voter Education Committee, Festus Okoye disclosed that the Commission arrived at the date after an extraordinary meeting.
The Federal Constituencies where the elections are expected to hold include, Akure North/Akure South Federal Constituency, Ondo State; Jos North/Bassa Federal Constituency, Plateau State; Pankshin South State Constituency, Plateau State; Ogoja/Yala Federal Constituency, Cross River State.
Others were Akpabuyo State Constituency, Cross River State and Ngor-Okpala State Constituency, Imo State.
On Ekiti East 1 State Constituency election, INEC said it has resolved to combine it with the Governorship election in Ekiti, which will hold on 18th June 2022.
While restating its concern for the restoration of internal democracy in the political parties, the Commission urged parties that would field candidates to ensure that their standard-bearers emerge through Direct and Indirect Primaries. Okoye was however silent on the consensus arrangement enshrined in the Constitution of some of the dominant parties.
“Political parties fielding candidates for the bye-elections must comply with the activities and timelines set out in the Timetable and Schedule of Activities for the conduct of the bye-election and conduct transparent and valid direct or indirect primaries in accordance with the dictates of sections 85 and 87 of the Electoral Act 2010 [As amended].
“Political parties must note that the aspirant with the highest number of votes at the end of voting shall be declared the winner of the primary of the party and the aspirant’s name shall be forwarded to the Commission as the candidate of the party.
“Political parties that present to the Commission the name of a candidate who does not meet the qualifications stipulated in the Constitution and the Electoral Act shall be guilty of an offence and on conviction shall be liable to a maximum fine of N500,000.00. The detailed Timetable and Schedule of activities has been uploaded on the Commission’s website and social media platforms.”
Ahead of the February 12 Federal Capital Territory, (FCT) Area Council Elections, the Commission appealed “to citizens who applied for fresh registration as well as transfers and replacement of the PVCs to do so immediately and avoid the last-minute rush for these cards, as has been the case in the past.
“The Commission will continue to provide a regular update on the preparations for these elections in the days and weeks ahead.”
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The Speaker, Femi Gbajabiamila declared the seat of the Jos North/Bassa Federal Constituency (Plateau State) in the House of Representatives vacant following the death of Hon. Haruna Maitala who died in a road accident along the Bade-Gitata Road en route Jos in April 2021.
Haruna Maitala was of the All Progressives Congress (APC).
The Speaker, Femi Gbajabiamila declared the seat of the Akure North/Akure South Federal Constituency (Ondo State) in the House of Representatives vacant following the sudden death of Hon. Adedayo Omolafe who died in August 2021.
Adedayo Isaac Omolafe was of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP).
The Speaker, Femi Gbajabiamila declared the seat of the Ogoja/Yala Federal Constituency (Cross River State) in the House of Representatives vacant following the swearing-in of Jarigbe Agom Jarigbe as the Senator representing Cross River North Senatorial District.
Jarigbe Agom Jarigbe is a member of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP).
The Speaker of the Cross River House of Assembly, Jonah Eteng declared the seat of the Akpabuyo State Constituency in the House of Assembly vacant following the sudden demise of Hon. Elizabeth Ironbar who died in October 2021.
Elizabeth Edem Ironbar was of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP).
The Speaker of the Plateau House of Assembly declared the seat of the Pankshin South State Constituency in the House of Assembly vacant following the death of Hon. Henry Longs who died after a mysteriouus leg surgery in November 2021.
Henry Soembis Longs was of the All Progressives Congress (APC).
The Speaker of the Imo House of Assembly, Kennedy Ibeh declared the seat of the Ngor Okpala State Constituency in the House of Assembly vacant following the absence of Hon. Tochi Okere from sittings for more than one-third of the sitting period in a year.
The Ekiti East 1 State Constituency bye-election was suspended in March 2021 following widespread violence.