A former coordinator of the Independent National Electoral Commission Institute, Frank Ozoh, has argued that Hon. James Faleke, the running mate to the Late All Progressives Congress (APC) governorship candidate in Kogi State, ought to have been declared candidate of the APC by INEC.
Mr. Ozoh told News Agency of Nigeria, NAN, on Thursday in Abuja that since the APC candidate, Abubakar Audu, died during the inconclusive election, his running mate should be declared the party’s candidate for the supplementary election slated for this Saturday.
He said in a telephone chat that failure to field Mr. Faleke as candidate necessitates fresh election.
“Otherwise, there should be a re-run election, so that all aggrieved persons will participate in the re-run; once there is the position of a running mate, then there is already a joint ticket.
“It is not possible for the votes of late Audu to be transferred to another person who did not contest in an election since our electoral system is not based on transferable vote system like we have in India.
“Once we are making a return, we say this candidate, having polled majority of the votes and having met the constitutional requirements; we don’t say this party.
“Therefore, the votes are for the candidates and not for the party”, he said.
Mr. Ozoh, however, said that the issue of inconclusive election first came up in 2010, and made the electoral institute to review the Manual for Election Officials while he was the coordinator of the institute.
“The then chairman of INEC, Prof. Maurice Iwu, used the procedure for the re-run of 2009 Ekiti election”, he said.
Mr. Ozoh, therefore, urged the electoral commission to ensure that political stakeholders in Kogi adhere to due process during the supplementary election.