INEC fixes June 19 for Kaduna, Jigawa bye-elections

INEC Chairman, Prof. Mahmood Yakubu

The Independent National Electoral Commission has fixed a date for bye-elections to fill the vacant Gwaram Federal Constituency in Jigawa State at the House of Representatives and the Sabon Gari State Constituency seat in the Kaduna State House of Assembly.

The polls are to hold on June 19, 2021.

The National Commissioner and Chairman, Information and Voter Education Committee, INEC, Mr Festus Okoye, made this known in separate statements issued on Friday.

In the statement titled ‘Conduct of Bye-Election in Gwaram Federal Constituency of Jigawa State’, INEC said it had received a communication from the National Assembly in which the Speaker of the House of Representatives, Femi Gbajabiamila, declared a vacancy for Gwaram Federal Constituency of Jigawa State, following the death of a member, Yuguda Hassan Kila, who died on March 4, 2021.

The statement said, “Consequently, the commission has fixed Saturday, 19th June, 2021 for the conduct of bye-election to fill the vacant seat for the said constituency in the House of Representatives.

“The official notification for the election will be published on 17th May 2021.

“Political parties shall conduct their primaries between 18th and 24th May, 2021.

“The access code for online submission of nomination forms will be available for collection from 24th May 2021 at the commission’s headquarters in Abuja, while the last day for submission of the list of nominated candidates is 28th May 2021 at 6pm.

“Political parties shall submit the names of their polling agents for the election to the INEC Electoral Officer for Gwaram Local Government Area on/or before 1st June, 2021, and campaigns by political parties shall end on 17th June 2021.”

While INEC said a detailed timetable and schedule of activities for the bye-election had been uploaded on its website and other social media platforms, the commission stated that since working on the expansion of voter access to polling units in the country was ongoing, the bye-election would hold in the existing polling units and voting points across the constituency.

“The commission enjoins all political parties to strictly adhere to the timetable and schedule of activities and avoid rancorous primaries and violence during the campaigns and throughout the electoral process.

“Political parties must pay attention to Section 87 of the Electoral Act relating to the nomination processes and submit to the commission, the names and particulars of candidates that scored a majority of lawful votes and emerged from valid party primaries,” the statement added.

In the other statement titled ‘Conduct of Bye-Election in Sabon Gari State Constituency of Kaduna State’, INEC said it had also received a communication from the Kaduna State House of Assembly which declared the seat of the member representing Sabon Gari State Constituency, Aminu Abdullahi Shagali, vacant.

The commission quoted the state Assembly as saying that the vacancy occurred “as a result of the honourable member’s absence without just cause from one-third of the meetings of the Assembly for one year, in contravention of Section 109 (1)[f] and (2) of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, 1999 (as amended).”

INEC, therefore, fixed the bye-election also to June 19, while other processes have the same dates with the Taraba bye-election.