The Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, has declared the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP candidate for Ado/Opoku/Ogbadibo Federal Constituency in Benue State, Christian Adabah Abah, as winner of the February 14, 2015 general elections.
INEC also disqualified seven governorship candidates from various parties from participating in the February 28 governorship election for failing to nominate their running mates.
Explaining reasons for declaring Abah winner for the election that was yet to hold, INEC said it was because he (Abah) is the sole candidate seeking election into the House of Representative election.
These were contained in INEC’s daily bulletin on the election yesterday, saying that the common offence of the governorship candidates was their inability to nominate their running mates.
In a Decision Extract signed by the Director (Commission’s Secretariat), Ishiaku Gali, INEC has also approved that the House of Representatives election in Ado/Opoku/Ogbadibo Federal Constituency of Benue State, being uncontested, the nominated candidate should be declared elected on the day of the election by the Returning Officer,” adding that, “Section 41 (1) of the Electoral Act 2010 (as amended) provides that: If after expiration of time for delivering of nomination papers, withdrawal of candidates and the extension of time as provided for in this Act, there is only one person whose name is validly nominated in respect of an election, other than to the office of the President or Governor, that person shall be declared elected.”
The parties and the states affected by the disqualification according to the INEC, are the Peoples Party of Nigeria, PPN, in Delta State; Labour Party, LP, in Niger State and the New Nigeria Peoples Party, NNPP, in Ogun State.
Others are the Unity Party of Nigeria, UPN, in Oyo state; United Democratic Party, UDP, in Rivers State; and Peoples Democratic Movement, PDM, in Sokoto and Zamfara states respectively.
The commission said: “Section 187 of the Electoral Act 2010 (as amended) provides that a candidate to the office of a Governor shall not be deemed to be validly nominated for such office unless he appoints another candidate as his running mate who shall occupy the office of Deputy Governor.’’