The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) on Monday, November 23, 2015, said it would apply available legal provisions on the recent development over Saturday’s governorship election in Kogi state.
The Deputy Director of Publicity of the commission, Mr Nick Dazang, stated this in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Abuja.
Dazang, however, said that the All Progressives Congress (APC) was yet to inform the commission of the death of Prince Abubakar Audu, the party’s standard bearer in the election.
"APC has to do proper notification and accompany it with the certificate of death issued by a medical doctor," he said.
Audu, who was leading the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) candidate and incumbent governor of the state, Idris Wada, in the election which was declared inconclusive by INEC, died suddenly on Sunday in his home in Ogbonicha and was buried on Monday, November 23, 2015, according to Islamic injunction.
Dazang said that INEC would apply relevant laws and make a pronouncement on its position on the election immediately it received official notification of Audu’s death from his political party.
He said that there were legal provisions to address such incidents in the country’s electoral process.
"When something like this happens, the party on which platform the candidate contested will need to notify the commission. Of course, we have heard and read like everyone else but we need to be notified.
"Once the commission is notified, it will look at relevant clauses of the 1999 Constitution as amended, the Electoral Act 2010 as amended and also the constitution of APC itself.
"All these relevant laws will be looked at with a view to determining what to be done to ensure that whatever is done subsequently is done within the ambit of the law.
"INEC as a law-abiding body will do everything prescribed by the law.
"Thankfully we have some Senior Advocates of Nigeria (SAN) that provide counsel to the commission. We also have a very vibrant legal service department, headed by a SAN," Dazang said.
He said that before the report of the death of Audu, the INEC, on the directive of its chairman, was already making provision for a supplementary election. He also added that the commission would follow the constitution and not the opinion of people on the election, saying there were legal provisions for such incident.