Agaju Madugba, Katsina
The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) in Katsina has fixed February 10 for re-run election for the Mashi/Dutsi Federal Constituency of the House of Representatives.
The INEC Resident Electoral Commissioner, Alhaji Jibril Zarewa, who spoke with reporters at the weekend said that the election would hold in nine polling units in Mashi and six polling units in Dutsi local government areas, respectively.
According to him, a total of 130 INEC ad hoc staff including members of the NYSC will be involved in the conduct of the re-runs.
The National and State Houses of Assembly Election Tribunal sitting in Katsina had earlier nullified the election of Mansur Ali Mashi of the All Progressives Congress (APC) following a petition by the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) and its candidate Nazifi Ayuba.
The Tribunal, headed by L. M. Boufini, contended that the by-election which INEC conducted in the area on May 19, 2017 was substantially marred by irregularities and that it did not comply with certain provisions of the Electoral Act.
According to the Tribunal, the tide of the election would have changed if the votes were well-captured and articulated, noting further that the petitioner was able to establish that the election was characterized by ballot box snatching, violence and over-voting in some of the affected polling units.
Meanwhile, INEC has given the figure of eligible voters who have so far collected their Permanent Voter’s Cards (PVC) as 2, 740, 000.
According to Zarewa, “we have only 60,000 uncollected cards out of 2. 8million PVCs for eligible voters in the state.
“We suspect that the 60,000 PVCs yet to be collected may belong to the category of voters who may have been transferred out of the state.
“We nonetheless ensure that the PVCs are readily available in all the centres where we are carrying out continuous voters’ registration exercise, as we believe that their owners may turn up anytime,” the Commissioner said.