INEC Declares Agaie Assembly Poll in Niger Inconclusive

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Laleye Dipo in Minna

Almost two weeks after the conduct of the governorship and House of Assembly elections, the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has said it did not declare winners for the 27 House of Assembly seats in Niger State.

The present position by INEC contradicts earlier information that the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) won all the 27 seats in the House of Assembly.

A source close to INEC in Minna informed THISDAY that the election for Agaie constituency was declared inconclusive as a result of alleged electoral malpractices in two units of the local government.

It was gathered that in the results so far announced, the APC candidate Umar Abdullahi scored 17,920 votes, while the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) opponent, Alhaji Yahaya Abdullahi, polled 18,026 votes.

The results, according to the source, were announced by the Returning Officer for the local government, Prof. Musa G. M. Kolo.

It was learnt that INEC had now fixed Saturday, March 23 for the conduct of the supplementary election in the two units — Etsugaie polling unit, Jikpangi with 825 registered voters and Magaji Polling unit at Wunadaganci with 612 registered voters.

INEC’s Head of Voter Education and Publicity, Mr Arthur Adzape, said the commission was set for the rerun election and charged all those concerned to prepare to participate in the polls.

Adzape said there was never a time the commission declared a winner for Agaie constituency, adding that INEC announced the results for only 26 constituencies.

However, PDP has cried foul over the plan to conduct a supplementary poll in the area, saying its candidate won the election “clean and clear”.

The chairman of the party in the local government, Alhaji Abubakar Ndeji, accused the commission of trying to play the script of a top APC member from the area who had vowed to win the seat for his party.

Ndeji said if INEC failed to declare the PDP candidate as winner of the election “we will go to court to seek for redress”.