July 14, 2024

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Nigeria: 2023 – INEC to Conduct Rerun, By-Elections in 34 Constituencies

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Nigeria’s election management body, the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), is considering conducting rerun and bye-election elections across the country in the first week of February 2024.

INEC chairman, Prof. Mahmood Yakubu, disclosed this yesterday in Abuja at a meeting with political parties on the Commission’s preparation for the forthcoming elections in the new year.

He remarked that at the end of litigations arising from the 2023 general election, the courts ordered the commission to conduct rerun elections in 34 federal and state constituencies: one in the Senate, 11 federal constituencies and 22 state constituencies.

He said the Commission was also required to conduct bye-elections to fill vacancies arising from the death or resignation of members of the national and state assemblies and it intends to combine and conduct the two categories of elections on the same day.

It, however, said the Commission would meet to review preparations and announce a definite date, including the detailed timetable and schedule of activities for the elections.

He said out of the 34 re-run elections, it is only in three cases that the Commission was ordered to conduct elections in the entire constituencies, but that in the other 31 constituencies, elections are to be held in a few polling units.

“As you are aware, re-run elections only involve the parties and candidates that participated in the general election unless a party wishes to replace a deceased candidate.

“However, bye-elections are fresh elections. Consequently, political parties must conduct fresh primaries within the limited period of time provided by law.”

According to him, the 34 constituencies constitute 2.8 percent of the 1,191 petitions filed by litigants.

Mahmood said at the end of all the litigations, including the governorship elections pending on appeal at the Supreme Court, the Commission would present a comprehensive analysis of the petitions, including cases where the Commission was ordered to issue Certificates of Return to other candidates and the reasons for the decisions by the courts as part of the lessons learned from the 2023 general election for the consequential reforms to improve the conduct of future elections.

He recalled that the commission had the previous week expressed commitment to conduct elections to fill vacancies in the National and State Assembly constituencies.

Mahmood added: “The Commission is looking at the first week of February 2024, i.e. in just a little over one month, to conduct both the re-run and bye-elections.

“At the end of this consultative meeting, the Commission will meet to review preparations and announce a definite date, including the detailed Timetable and Schedule of Activities for the elections.”
By Leadership.

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