The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has declared the Plateau and Adamawa governorship elections conducted on Saturday inconclusive.
The returning officers for both elections made the declaration on Monday in separate announcements at their respective collation centres.
Richard Kimbir, the Returning Officer for the Plateau governorship election, announced that the margin of the 49,377 cancelled votes is more than the margin of a lead of 44,929 votes between the two leading candidates.
Simon Lalong, the incumbent governor and candidate of the All Progressives Congress (APC) polled a total of 583,255, votes while Jerry Useni of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) scored 538,326 votes.
Kimbir noted that the difference in the margin constrains him to return a winner but rather declare the election inconclusive.
He announced that re-run would hold in the affected areas where the votes are in dispute.
“In line with section 179, subsection two of the 1999 constitution as amended, I am constrained to declare this election inconclusive.
“This is because the total number of cancelled votes is above the difference that exist in the votes garnered by the two major candidates.
“So, in line with the electoral act, a supplementary election will be conducted in the affected areas in 21 days,” Kimbir, the Vice Chancellor of the Federal University of Agriculture, Makurdi, declared.
Similarly, Andrew Haruna, the Returning Officer for the Adamawa governorship election, also adduced the same reason of the margin of cancelled votes being higher than the margin of lead between the two leading candidates; PDP’s Ahmadu Fintiri and APC’s Jibrilla Bindo, who is also the incumbent governor, as the reason for declaring the election inconclusive.
Haruna mentioned about 44 polling units affected across the state.
He declared that a new date for the re-run election would be announced soon.
In Sokoto State, Fatima Muktar, the Returning Officer for the state’s governorship election, also announced on Sunday that the margin of cancelled votes was higher than the margin of lead of the two leading candidates.
The total number of cancelled votes is 75, 403, while the margin of lead is 3, 413.
Governor Aminu Tambuwal of the PDP polled 489, 558 votes, while his closest rival, APC’s Ahmad Aliyu scored 486, 145 votes.
”From the forgoing, the election is declared inconclusive as I cannot take a decision in recognition of the narrow margin according to electoral law,” Muktar, the Vice Chancellor of Federal University, Dutse in Jigawa State, declared.
Mohammed Kyari, the Returning Officer for the Bauchi State governorship election, also declared the exercise as inconclusive for the same reason of a difference between the margin of lead and that of cancelled votes.
The incumbent governor, Mohammed Abubakar of the APC polled 465,453 votes, while PDP’s Bala Mohammed garnered 469,512 votes.
“The margin between the winner and opponent is less than the total number of votes cancelled in some polling units.
“By law, since the margin of winner is less than the total number of votes cancelled and registered voters in the areas where the votes have been cancelled, this election is hereby declared inconclusive,” Kyari said.
He announced that a re-run election must be conducted within 21 days in accordance with the provisions of the 2010 Electoral Act (as amended).