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“I Won The Poll, Audu’s Votes Died With Him” – Says Governor Idris Wada



Idris Wada, governor of Kogi state and candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in the November 21 election, says the votes of Abubakar Audu, his main rival in the poll, “died with him”.

Audu passed on shortly after the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) declared the election inconclusive.

The electoral commission explained that a winner could not be declared because the number of cancelled votes was higher than the margin between the two leading contenders.

Audu, who was ahead, polled 240,861 votes, while Wada got 199,514 votes, leaving a margin of 41,353, which was less than the 49,953 votes that were voided.

INEC subsequently scheduled a supplementary election for December 5 and asked APC to replace its late candidate.

But in a statement on Sunday, Wada, who had earlier expressed reservation over INEC’s directive, accused the commission of doing “a hatchet job”.

He said being the only surviving candidate with the “majority of lawful votes cast”, INEC ought to issue him a certificate of return.

“Whatever votes Audu scored in the election died with him,” read the statement signed on his behalf by Phrank Shaibu, his chief communications manager.

Wada described as “specious” INEC’s argument that APC’s right to substitution was sustained by the electoral act, saying the electoral body should know that it is for the court, not the commission, to determine which course of action is effective or not.

“In arriving at a decision, INEC merely carried out the directives of the attorney-general of the federation… the AGF is not competent to issue directives to INEC to allow APC to substitute its candidate for the Kogi guber poll and that such directives are null and void for its inconsistency with the provisions of the constitution,” the statement read.

“To us as a party, the most egregious of the faux pas committed by INEC is asking the APC to lawfully nominate a candidate for the supplementary governorship election without a valid and legally cognizable primary election of the party conducted within the mandatory timeliness specified by the electoral act.

“It is our considered opinion that, INEC, more than any other body, ought to know that having regards to the provisions of section 141 of the electoral act, 2010, votes scored by a candidate who died during an election cannot be inherited by or transferred to a person who was not a candidate at the said election and who did not participate in all stages of such election, for the purpose of concluding such election.”

He said it was on the strength of the position of the electoral act on the developments in the state that he has asked the court to compel INEC to issue him with a certificate of return.

The statement added that the party was hopeful that the court will issue an order of injunction restraining APC from organising or holding a fresh primary election for the purpose of “any supplementary election”.

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