Following the sudden death of the governorship candidate of the All Progressives Congress in Kogi State, Abubakar Audu, shortly after the election held on Saturday was declared inconclusive by the Independent National Electoral Commission on Sunday, the Attorney General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Abubakar Malami (SAN), on Tuesday gave an opinion on the way forward.
The chief law officer of the federation said combined reading of relevant provisions of both the Constitution and the Electoral Act 2010 envisaged a situation like the one created by the death of the APC’s governorship candidate in the middle of an election that had yet to be completed, contrary to the general impression that the laws were silent on it.
Malami, who said the supplementary election had to be conducted, spoke in Abuja at a seminar organised by the Nigerian Law Reform Commission on the reform of the National Environmental Standards and Regulation Enforcement Agency (Establishment) Act.
Contrary to some schools of thought which argued that Audu’s running mate, Abiodun Faleke, would automatically become the APC candidate, Malami said the decision of the party on the new candidate would be based on the outcome of the primary from which Audu earlier emerged as the party’s flag bearer.
He said by virtue of provisions of section 221 of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria 1999 (as amended), the votes cast were for the political party and by section 33 of the Electoral Act 2010, the political party had the right to substitute its candidate in case of death.