The Independent National Electoral Commission has suspended the conduct of the supplementary election in Ese-Odo/Ilaje Federal Constituency of Ondo State, until the determination of a suit filed by the Labour Party at Federal High Court, Akure.
This is contained in a statement from the INEC’s Headquarters issued on Wednesday, in Abuja.
It said, “In view of the pendency of the suit, the Commission has decided to suspend the conduct of the supplementary election until the determination of the suit by the court.”
The Commission had on April 5 conducted a by-election into Ese-Odo/Ilaje Federal Constituency of Ondo State.
The statement however, stated that: “At the end of collation, the Returning Officer for the by-election declared the election inconclusive for the reason that election did not take place in certain Polling Units while results of the election at some other Polling Units were cancelled due to violence.
“The Labour Party had a total of 23,926 votes while the PDP had a total of 22,628 votes with a difference of 1,298 votes. The total number of registered voters in the 59 polling units where election did not take place or was cancelled due to violence is 28,952.
“Consequently the difference in the number of votes earned by the leading candidate and the runner-up (1,298) is less than the number of registered voters who did not have the opportunity of voting at the election (28,952) representing over 16 per cent of the total number of registered voters. The Returning Officer rightly declared the election inconclusive.
“Subsequently the Commission decided in accordance with the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria 1999 (as amended) and its guidelines for the election, to conduct a supplementary election in the 59 affected polling units to conclude the process.
“However, LP has filed a suit at the Federal High Court Akure, Ondo State against the Commission in respect of the election in Suit No.fhc/ak/cs/28/14 Between Labour Party Vs INEC and seven (7) others. The plaintiff seeks from the Court for declaration, among others, that the Labour Party and its candidate be declared winner of the by-election.”