INEC declares Adamawa governorship election inconclusive

The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has declared as inconclusive, the governorship election which took place last Saturday in all 21 local government Areas in Adamawa State.

The INEC returning officer for the state, Mr. Andrew Haruna, who made the declaration at the INEC office in Yola Sunday night, hinged his decision on the fact that the margin of lead between the two leading candidates was smaller than the total number of registered votes where elections were either cancelled or did not take place at all.

The already collated results showed that the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) candidate, Umar Fintiri, has polled total votes of 367,471 when his closest rival and candidate of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Governor Muhammed Bindow, polled a total of 334,995.

The margin of lead is 32,476 votes, which is smaller than 40,988 representing the total number of registered votes in the 44 polling units where results were cancelled.

Citing the relevant sections of INEC election guidelines to back his decision to declare the election inconclusive, Haruna said:

“In page 17 paragraph C, the Regulations and Guidelines for the Conduct of Elections on the margin of lead principle states that where the margin of lead between the two leading candidates in an election is not in excess of the total number of voters registered in polling units where elections are not counted or voided, in line with Section 26 and 53 of Electoral Act, the Returning officer shall decline to make a return until votes have taken place in the affected polling units and the results collated in to the relevant forms for declaration and return”

“This is the margin of lead principle and shall apply wherever necessary in making returns in all elections to which this Regulations and Guidelines apply.

“And, therefore, I declare this exercise inconclusive,” he stated.

The total registered voters in Adamawa state is 1,973, 083., while a total of 894, 481 voters were accredited for the election.

INEC will announce a fresh date for the election in the affected 44 polling units to conclude the exercise.

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