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INEC, security operatives express readiness for Ihiala supplementary poll

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From Jeff Amechi Agbodo, Aloysius Attah, Magnus Eze and Aidoghie Paulinus

The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), has said that it was ready to conduct a free, fair and transparent supplementary election in Ihiala Local Government Area of Anambra State today.

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It said that everything had been put in place to ensure a smooth conduct of the poll, saying that the challenges witnessed with the use of Bimodal Voter Accreditation System (BVAS) would not arise as the commission had taken steps to address them.

Also, the security agencies in the state have said they were equally prepared to provide adequate security for the people.

Zonal Police Public Relations Officer (ZPPRO) and Head, Police Police Media Team for the election, DSP Nkeiruka Nwode, told VELOXNEWS that the police and other security agencies have already been deployed to the LGA.

She said the security operatives have been provided with all the necessary gadgets they need for the job; and that they are in high spirit to carry out their duties efficiently.

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“We have concluded our side of the responsibility because we started on time. If you go there now, you’ll see a lot of our men there. And we’re not concentrating on Ihiala, we have provided sufficient security to all parts of the state”, she said.

Returning Officer for the governorship election in the state, Prof. Florence Obi, the Vice Chancellor of University of Calabar, in a statement on the suspension of collation of result, said that the commission was being guided by Nigeria’s constitution and the electoral act.

“As you all know, we have collated results for twenty (20) out of twenty-one (21) Local Government Areas. The outstanding result is for Ihiala LGA where, for various reasons INEC could not deploy on Saturday.

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“Consequently, based on constitutional considerations, provisions of the Electoral Act and the Revised Regulations and Guidelines for the Conduct of Elections issued by the Commission, supplementary election is indicated for Ihiala LGA.

“First, Section 179 (2) of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria 1999 (as amended) provides that to be declared the winner of the governorship election, a candidate must secure both the highest number of votes cast and 25% of the votes cast in at least two-thirds of the Local Government Areas of the state.

“Therefore, it is important to complete the election in Ihiala LGA in order to make that determination.

“Similarly, Section 179 (3) of the Constitution provides that a *run-off election shall take place if no candidate meets the requirements of Sub-section 2 of that Section.

“Such a run-off shall be between the candidate with the highest number of votes and one among the remaining candidates who secured a majority of votes in the highest number of Local Government Areas in the State. This further underscores the importance of conducting election in all the LGAs before a declaration can be made.

“Secondly, Section 26 of the Electoral Act 2010 (as amended) envisages the postponement of an election where there is a cogent and verifiable reason to do so, especially threat of breach of the peace. One major reason for not deploying for election in Ihiala on Saturday, 6th November 2021, is security threat which led to staffing and transportation constraints, among others.

“Finally, Clause 47 of the Revised Regulations and Guidelines for the Conduct of Elections provides that supplementary election shall be conducted where the Commission due to logistical challenges is unable to deploy on election day.

“Given the foregoing, it becomes imperative to bring Ihiala LGA at par with the other twenty (20) LGAs in this election before we can make a valid declaration or take any further necessary action based on the extant law”, she said.

The post INEC, security operatives express readiness for Ihiala supplementary poll appeared first on VELOXNEWS.

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