The Independent National Electoral Commission has said it will conduct reruns and bye-elections across the country in February 2024 to fill existing vacancies in the state and federal legislatures.

The INEC Chairman, Prof. Mahmood Yakubu, stated this at a meeting with leaders of political parties in Abuja on Monday ahead of the elections.

Re-run elections only involve the parties and candidates that participated in the general election, unless a party wishes to replace a deceased candidate. However, bye-elections are fresh elections.

Yakubu noted that at the end of litigation, the courts ordered the commission to conduct rerun elections in 34 federal and state constituencies, made up of one in the Senate, 11 federal constituencies, and 22 state constituencies

He stated that both elections would be held on the same day, adding that political parties must conduct fresh primaries within the limited period provided by law.

He said, “The purpose of this meeting is to brief party leaders on the Commission’s preparation for the forthcoming elections to be held early in the new year. The elections are in two categories.

“First, as the Election Petition Appeal Tribunals set up in the aftermath of the 2023 General Election gradually wind up their proceedings, the Commission is required to conduct re-run elections in some constituencies by court order.

“Secondly, the Commission is also required to conduct bye-elections to fill vacancies arising from the death or resignation of members of the National and State Houses of Assembly.

The Commission intends to combine and conduct the two categories of elections on the same day, the details of which will be discussed at this meeting.

“Consequently, political parties must conduct fresh primaries within the limited period of time provided by law.”

The INEC Chairman further stated, “So far, the Election Petition Appeal Tribunals have ordered the Commission to conduct re-run elections in 34 constituencies made up of one Senatorial District, 11 Federal Constituencies, and 22 State Assembly constituencies.

“However, the 34 constituencies constitute 2.8% of the 1,191 petitions filed by litigants. Significantly, out of the 34 re-run elections, it is only in three cases that the Commission was ordered to conduct elections in the entire constituencies. In the other 31 constituencies, elections are to be held in a few polling units.

“I want to assure you that at the end of all the litigations, including the Governorship elections pending on appeal at the Supreme Court, the Commission will present a comprehensive analysis of the petitions, including cases where the Commission was ordered to issue Certificates of Return to other candidates and the reasons for the decisions by the Courts as part of the lessons learned from the 2023 General Election for the consequential reforms to improve the conduct of future elections.

“The Commission is looking at the first week of February 2024 i.e. in just a little over one month to conduct both the re-run and bye-elections.”

By Fasholu Gabriel Oluwatobi

Gabriel O. Fasholu is the founder and editor of SPYCONNET. A brilliant Educationist, Social Media Enthusiast & Freelancer who is passionate about passing undefiled information to the entire public.

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