Philip Nwosu

The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) said it will conduct supplementary elections in six federal constituencies in Lagos State this weekend.

The Resident Electoral Commissioner (REC) Mr. Sam Olumekun gave the hint while addressing journalists at the secretariat of the Nigerian Union of Journalists (NUJ), Lagos State Council in Alausa, saying that the election will be conducted simultaneously with the governorship and state houses of assembly elections.

He reeled out the affected federal constituencies where the electoral body will conduct supplementary elections to include Oshodi/Isolo 1, Oshodi/Isolo II, Ojo, Etiosa, Somolu and Ajeromi Ifelodun.

He explained that in these areas violence, ballot box snatching and attack by hoodlums had marred the process of election, hence election could hold in those areas.

He said: “INEC believes in the rule of law. Section 33 (e) of the regulations and guidelines for the conduct of 2019 General Elections, stipulates that, ‘where the margin of lead between two leading candidates in an election is not in excess of the total number of voters registered in polling units where election are not held or voided in line with section 26 and 53 of the Electoral Act, the returning officer shall decline to make a rerun until polls have taken place in the affected polling unit and the result collated into the relevant forms for declaration and return.”

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The Resident Electoral Commission said all materials needed for the governorship and state house of assembly election in Lagos are available and are in safe custody at the Central Bank of Nigeria, adding that the smart card readers are being re-configured for the election.

He also said that INEC ad hoc staff who performed below expectation have been replaced and payment of honoraria to all the ad hoc staff that pertook in elections have been made.

He lamented the late arrival of voting materials in some areas, blaming it on security challenges encountered by the INEC on the day of the election, but added that, “dialogue is ongoing with the leadership of National Union of Road Transport Workers (NURTW} and National Association Road Transport Owners (NARTO) for better performance and prompt delivery of men and materials on election day.”

He stated that card readers will be used for the election and warned that attempts to resist the use of card readers by voters will mean scoring the affected polling unit zero.

He said: “Let all eligible voters come out en masse and exercise their franchise by voting for candidates of their choice. INEC in Lagos is ready for the Governorship and State House of Assembly elections, including the rerun in the affected constituencies on March 9, 2019.”