By Chuks Okocha
The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has approved March 20 for the conduct of the Ekiti State East Constituency 1 bye-election.
The commission reached the decision after deliberating on the conduct of the bye-election into the vacant seat of Ekiti East Constituency 1 of Ekiti State.
The National Commissioner and Chairman Information and Voter Education Committee, Mr. Festus Okoye, disclosed this in a press statement in Abuja yesterday.
Okoye said the commission has fixed Saturday March 20, 2021, for the conduct of the bye-election to fill the vacant seat for the Ekiti East Constituency 1 of Ekiti State.
He said the vacancy arose as a result of the death of Hon. Adegbuyi Oluwajuwa Amos, member representing Ekiti East Constituency 1 in the state’s House of Assembly and the subsequent declaration of vacancy for the constituency by the Speaker of the Ekiti State House of Assembly, Rt. Hon. Funminiyi Afuye.
He stated that the official notification for the election was published on Wednesday February 24, 2021, and enjoined the political parties to conduct their primaries between February 26 and March 3, 2021 while the deadline for the submission of the list of nominated candidates was fixed at 6p.m. on March 8, 2021.
Okoye also stated that the access code for the nomination forms should be available for collection from February 26, 2021 at the commission’s headquarters.
The commission, according to him, has enjoined all the political parties intending to field candidates to pay close attention to the timetable and the schedule of activities and to conduct transparent and valid party primaries that meet the provisions of Section 87 of the Electoral Act 2010 (as amended).
He urged political parties to note that under Section 31(8) of the Electoral Act, a political party which presents to the commission the name of a candidate who does not meet the qualifications stipulated in the constitution and the Electoral Act shall be guilty of an offence and on conviction shall be liable to a maximum fine of N500,000.00.
Okoye explained that the detailed timetable and schedule of activities had been uploaded on the commission’s website and social media platforms.
The INEC also said that the successful conduct of the training of the Supervisory Presiding Officers (SPO) in preparation for Kafin Hausa By- Election has been followed with the training of Presiding Officers (POs) and Assistant Presiding Officers (APOs) since yesterday by the electoral institute.
The commission said that the objective of the three day training is to enable participants to demonstrate the ability to understand polling and counting processes and procedures and effectively perform the electoral duties of the POs and the APOs.
The INEC said: “The training is being conducted in nine local government areas of the state, namely the Kafin Hausa, Auyo, Miga, Hadeija, Kiri Kassama, Birniwa, Malam Madori and Kaugama.
“The training organised by the electoral institute started with registration and opening formalities.
“Participants are a mix of the members of the National Youth Service Corps, ex-corpers and few INEC staff.”
It explained that the ground rules for the training were established before the administration of pre-test.