INEC ready for FCT councils, fixes Feb 26 for bye-polls in 4 states

Following the declaration of vacancies by both the Speaker of the House of Representatives and Speakers of some Houses of Assembly, the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has fixed dates for bye-elections for six constituencies in for states.

The constituencies are Akure North/Akure South Federal Constituency, Ondo state, Jos North/Bassa Federal Constituency, Plateau state, Pankshin South State Constituency, Plateau state. 

Others are Ogoja/Yala Federal Constituency, Cross River state, Akpabuyo State Constituency, Cross River state and Ngor-Okpala State Constituency, Imo state

A statement by the National Commissioner, Information and Voter Education, Barrister Festus Okoye, stated that, “The elections will hold on Saturday, 26th February 2022 immediately after the FCT Area Council elections. 

“This will enable the Commission to clear most of the bye-elections; focus on the Ekiti and Osun governorship elections and the ongoing preparations for the 2023 general elections.”

The statement also said the commission decided to combine the Ekiti East 1 State Constituency election with the Governorship election in Ekiti, which will hold on 18th June 2022. 

The statement further noted that, “Some of the vacancies arose as a result of the death of the previous occupants; substantial disruption of the electoral process and fulfillment of constitutional and legal requirements in the electoral process.

“The Commission considered the issues that led to the vacancies and the rescheduling of some of the elections as well as the security situation in some of the states. 

“The Commission decided to combine the Ekiti East 1 State Constituency election with the Governorship election in Ekiti, which will hold on 18th June 2022.” 

It added, “The commission is consulting with security agencies and the critical stakeholders relating to the vacancy in Shinkafi state constituency of Zamfara state while the speaker of the Kaduna state House of Assembly has not declared vacancy in relation to Giwa state Constituency of Kaduna state.

“The official notification for the elections will be published on Monday, 24th January 2022. 

“Political parties shall conduct their primaries including resolution of disputes arising from the primaries between 26th January and 5th February 2022 while the last day for submission of list of nominated candidates is at 6pm on February 9, 2022 and this must be done through the Commission’s online nomination portal. 

“Political parties shall submit the names of their Polling Agents for the election to the Electoral Officer of the Local Government on or before 12th February 2022 and campaigns by Political parties shall stop on 24th February 2022. The Access Code for the nomination forms shall be available for collection from 5th February 2022 at the Commission’s headquarters.

“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.”

The Commission also said arrangements for the FCT area council elections holding on February 12 were being finalised. 

“Stakeholder engagements for the FCT elections would hold as follows: 

Political parties  – Tuesday 18th January 2022, Civil Society Organisations (CSOs) – Wednesday 19th January 2022, Inter-Agency Consultative Committee on Election Security (ICCES) – Thursday, 20th January 2022, Media Organisations – Friday 21st January 2022.”

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