From Jude Owuamanam, Jos

The Resident Electoral Commissioner in Plateau state, Dr Oliver Tersoo Agundu, has expressed the commission’s readiness to conduct a free and fair election during the February 3 court-ordered for Plateau North senatorial senatorial district.

Daily Sun had reported that a three-man panel of Appeal Court justices had, on October 23, nullified the election of Simon Mwadkwon, senator representing Plateau north senatorial district in the national assembly and ordered INEC to conduct a fresh election in the district within 90 days.

Mwadkwon was also the minority leader of the senate.The appeal was filed by Chris Giwa of the All Progressives Congress (APC) and Gyang Zi of the Labour Party (LP). They challenged the judgment of the Plateau State Election Petitions tribunal, which affirmed Mwadkwon’s election.

Agundu, who addressed newsmen in Jos on Friday, reaffirmed that the election would hold as scheduled, promising to conduct free and fair poll.

The REC said that the election is going to be conducted in six local government areas of Plateau North Viz Barkin Ladi, Bassa, Jos East, Jos North, Jos South and Riyom.

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He said that these local government areas have 73 registration areas, 2,266 polling units and 1, 234, 761 registered out of which 1, 167,001 had collected their voter’s cards, adding that from the above data, the task before the commission is huge.

Agundu said that 11,000 ad hoc personnel, excluding security would be deployed for the election.

“For us as a commission charged with the responsibility of conducting election, I wish to inform you and once again assure all of you that despite very obvious challenges we are poised to proceed with the election as scheduled and eagerly anticipated by many in the affected constituencies,” he said.

He emphasised that only people with PVCs will be allowed to participate and accreditation would be with the use of BVAS.

The REC said that all all non sensitive materials of different categories were already in the affected localities, but thr commission is expecting some few shortfalls to be delivered from the headquarters before the date of the election.

Agundu said that all electoral officers had been directed to ensure the full reactivation of all RACs in all the six local government areas, adding that 3000 BVAS are expected to be deployed and have been fully charged and currently being purged of the previous data ready for configuration and subsequent deployment.