Laleye Dipo in Minna
The Independent National Electoral Commission INEC in Niger state has declared as null and void the second gubernatorial primary election conducted by the New Nigeria Political Party NNPP.
The electoral body in the state insisted that Alhaji Ibrahim Mohammed Sokodeke, who emerged victorious in the first primaries “ remains” the candidate of the party for next year’s governorship election .
The NNPP had last week conducted a fresh primary election at its secretariat in Minna where alhaji Mohammed Idris Malagi, who had earlier contested for the All Progressives Congress(APC) ticket was returned with 124 votes.
The primary election was supervised by officials of INEC, and the National Legal Adviser of the party Mr. Horn Roberts while Dr Mohammed Bala of the Ibrahim Badamasi Babangida University Lapai was the returning officer.
However, one week after the conduct of the primary election the officials of INEC have not written their report making the substitution of the name of the first winner Alhaji Ibrahim Sokodeke with that of Idris Mohammed Malagi impossible.
According to findings, the INEC team hinged their decision not to write a report on the fact that the first winner Sokodeke did not formally write to the Commission to say he was withdrawing his nomination.
Head, Voter Education and Publicity of INEC, Mr. Arthur Adzape, confirmed to THISDAY that substitution sought by NNPP cannot be possible because relevant sections of the law especially the Electoral act 2022 have not been met.
Adzape said as far as INEC is concerned last week’s exercise by NNPP is a nullity.
Efforts to reach the leadership of the party in the state on the issue were abortive.