INEC fixes date to conduct all six pending by-elections in four States

The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has fixed the conduct of six outstanding constituencies by-elections in four States for February 26 this year.

Festus Okoye, the INEC’s Commissioner, disclosed this in a statement in Abuja on Friday evening.

Okoye said that the decision was taken at the INEC regular weekly meeting held on Thursday and an extraordinary meeting on Friday, where issues that led to the vacancies and the rescheduling of some of the elections, as well as the security situation in some of the states, were discussed.

According to him, the decision followed the declaration of vacancies by the speaker of the House of Representatives and the speakers of some state houses of assembly.

Okoye said the vacancies are Akure North/Akure South Federal Constituency, Ondo State; Jos North/Bassa Federal Constituency, Plateau and Pankshin South State Constituency, Plateau.

Others, according to him, are Ogoja/Yala Federal Constituency, Cross River, Akpabuyo State Constituency, Cross River and Ngor-Okpala State Constituency, Imo.

He explained that the by-elections would hold on February 26, immediately after the FCT Area Council elections.

Okoye said, “This will enable the commission to clear most of the by-elections, focus on the Ekiti and Osun governorship elections and ongoing preparations for the 2023 general election.”

Okoye said that some of the vacancies arose as a result of the death of the previous occupants, substantial disruption of the electoral process and fulfillment of constitutional and legal requirements in the electoral process.

The Commissioner said that INEC decided to combine the Ekiti East 1 State Constituency election with the governorship election in Ekiti, which would hold on June 18.

He also said that the commission was consulting with security agencies and the critical stakeholders relating to the vacancy in the Shinkafi State Constituency of Zamfara.

Okoye added that the speaker of the Kaduna State House of Assembly had not declared a vacancy in relation to Giwa State Constituency of Kaduna State.

He said that the official notification for the elections would be published on January 24.

“Political Parties shall conduct their primaries, including resolution of disputes arising from the primaries, between January 26 and February 5,” he said.