Niger-East Senatorial Bye-Election: INEC Shifts Election To August 30

Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), has shifted the date earlier fixed for the conduct of Niger East Senatorial District bye-election from August, 16th to 30th owing to logistic reasons and consideration of the commission’s calendar.

The Resident  Electoral Commissioner in the state, Dr. Emmanuel Onucheyo made the announcement on Friday during a stakeholders meeting in Minna saying, the change in the date of the bye election was in accordance with the provision of section 30 (3) of the electoral act 2010 (as amended) which says, “not later than 14 days before date appointed for the election. Notice is to state date of election.”

However, the atmosphere of the meeting became charged at the beginning as heated debate dominated the proceedings, with most stakeholders insisting that the bye-election be conducted on August 16, though a motion was later adopted by the political parties adopting the new date for the bye-election.

Though, at the beginning all the political parties kicked against any attempt by INEC to change the date of the bye-election, it was later agreed that ten minutes recess would be given so as to enable all political parties to reach out to their respective headquarters for advise on the matter. 

However, despite the fact that all other political parties adopted the change of the date, the state’s  chapter of All Progressive Congress (APC) rejected it out rightly , describing the shifting of the date to August 30th as unconstitutional.

Speaking to Sunday Tribune the state chairman of APC, Engr. Mohammed Jibril Imam said, constitution superseded electoral act which INEC relied upon for the shifting in date of the bye-election.

He argued that section 76 of 1999 constitution which stated that “Election to hold on a date not later than one month after a vacancy occurs in the senate” superseded section 30 (3) of the electoral act 2010 saying, INEC was notified on the existence of the vacancy July, 17 and if the bye-election is held on August,16 the exercise is then conducted within one month nonconformity to the 1999 constitution. 

Source: Tribune
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