Plateau — The All Progressives Congress (APC) yesterday won three House of Representatives’ seats in Lagos, Ondo and Cross River states just as the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has suspended re-run elections in some constituencies and polling units (PUs) in Akwa Ibom, Enugu and Kano states due to violence and irregularities.
APC was also leading in the Ebonyi South and Yobe East senatorial by-elections.
In Lagos State, APC’s Fuad Kayode Laguda, emerged victorious in Surulere Federal Constituency 1.
Laguda will succeed the former Speaker of the House of Representatives, Hon. Femi Gbajabiamila, who vacated his seat in the House following his appointment as President Bola Tinubu’s Chief of Staff.
In Ondo, Ife Ehindero of the APC scored 35,504 votes to claim the Akoko North East/North West Federal Constituency seat. His PDP challenger, Olalekan Bada, polled 15,328 votes.
The APC candidate was declared winner of the by-election having scored 35,504 votes to defeat the PDP candidate, Olalekan Bada who scored 15,324 votes.
Ehindero will succeed Dr. Olubunmi Tunji-Ojo who was appointed Minister of Interior.
In Cross River State, Dr. Emil Inyang of the APC was declared winner for the Akamkpa/Biase Federal Constituency.
Announcing the result of the election, the Returning Officer, Joshua Umo declared that Inyang got 15,930 votes while Austin Aidam of the PDP polled 12,417 votes
In Oyo State, Mr. Shittu Ibrahim of the APC won the Saki West State Constituency poll after polling 13,850 votes to narrowly beat Mr. Julius Okedoyin of the PDP, who got 13,670 votes.
Mr Amakoromo Waikumo of the All Progressive Grand Alliance (APGA) emerged as the winner of the Yenagoa Constituency II re-run election in Bayelsa State.
He polled 5,959 votes to narrowly beat his closest rival, Mrs Ebiuwou Koku-Obiyai of the PDP who garnered 5263 votes.
For the Yobe East Senatorial by-election, Mr. Musa Mustapha of the APC was leading his main challenger, Mallam Ajiko in results released as of press time by INEC.
INEC’s National Commissioner and Chairman, Information and Voter Education Committee, Mr. Sam Olumekun, announced the cancellation of the elections in three states.
The elections were in some polling units in 26 states and 80 local government areas across the country.
In Akwa Ibom State, elections were cancelled in some units in Ikono/Ini Federal Constituency, due to the carting away of election materials by hoodlums.
In Enugu State, the exercise was suspended in all eight polling units (PUs) of Enugu South 1 State Constituency where the original results sheets were not available for inspection by voters before the commencement of polls.
The commission also announced the suspension of the re-run elections in Igbo-Eze North/Udenu Federal Constituency in Enugu State over disruptions, irregularities and abduction of election officials by thugs and suspected security agents.
In most of the affected areas, the original results sheets were not available for inspection by voters before the commencement of polls.
Olamekun, who announced the cancellation in a statement, said necessary measures for the affected constituencies would be announced after the commission’s meeting on Monday.
He also called on security agencies to investigate the incidents in the affected constituency.
In Kano State, the state police command has announced the arrest of dozens of thugs allegedly hired to disrupt the re-run elections in some parts of the state.
The state Commissioner of Police, CP Mohammed Usaini Gumel, who disclosed this yesterday to journalists in Kano, stated that the thugs were arrested in possession of arms and were allegedly hired by a politician contesting in the election.
The arrests were made around the Kunchi/Tsanyawa area, one of the constituencies in the state.
“The decision of the commission aligns with the provisions of Section 24(3) of the Electoral Act, 2022. Further necessary measures for the affected constituencies will be announced after the commission’s meeting on Monday.
“INEC invites the security agencies to investigate the incidents, while the commission commits to thoroughly interrogating any breaches involving its officials,” Olumekun said.
INEC Postpones Elections in Plateau
Meanwhile, INEC has also postponed elections in 18 polling units in the re-run for Plateau North Senatorial district election and Bassa/Jos North Federal constituency.
The Resident Electoral Commissioner in the State, Dr Oliver Agundu, disclosed this yesterday while speaking with journalists in Jos, the state capital.
He said that the postponement of the elections till today followed complaints of ballot paper shortages.
The REC, who stated that an investigation had been launched by the commission to unravel the cause of the ballot papers shortage in the affected polling units said, “In respect of the reports that were coming in from some polling units that there were shortages of ballot papers in respect of the Federal House of Representatives seat, we did a holistic appraisal of the situation and we have received a comprehensive report on all the poling units and they summed up to 18 of them in total.
“We will see the possibility of also giving them the opportunity to also cast their votes tomorrow (Sunday), but we will make a final position on that when we meet by 8pm. That is the situation and we want the public to know that we take their concerns seriously. We are also doing a very thorough investigation on what has happened on these polling units,” the REC added.
Vote Buying Mars Re-run Election in Sokoto
The rerun election for the Yabo/Shagari House of Representatives seat recorded an impressive turnout in polling units where the election was rescheduled.
However, excessive vote buying was the order of the day, as witnessed in some of the polling units visited by our correspondent.
Indeed, the election was an open bazaar as agents of the leading political parties in the state doled out between N20,000 and N35,000 to each voter.
Meanwhile, men of the Sokoto State Police Command have confirmed the arrest of two persons for disturbing the process during the re-run election in the state.
The command’s spokesman, ASP Ahmed Rufai, said the two persons were arrested at Magaji polling units in Shagari LGA.
“They are currently in our custody while investigations are ongoing on the matter,” Rufai added.
Vote Not Captured by BVAS will Not Count, Says INEC
In another development, the National Commissioner of the INEC, Kenneth Ukeagu has vowed that any vote that is not captured in the BVAS will not count.
Ukeagu made this known while speaking with journalists at the Afikpo North LGA headquarters, collation centre for the Ebonyi South senatorial zone by-election.
Speaking on the alleged bypass of BVAS by agents during accreditation and voting in some polling units, especially in Ohaozara and Afikpo North LGAs, he said that the commission will apply the rules involved in BVAS.
“We have our rules and guidelines with regards to the use of BVAS in the election. And in all elections, we applied the rules and guidelines, and if there are such cases where BVAS weren’t used, the rules will be applied,” he said.
Low Turnout, Vote-buying Characterise Kaduna By-election
In Kaduna State, there was low turnout of voters in many polling units during yesterday’s by-election in seven state constituencies.
The constituencies are located in Chikun, Igabi, Kaduna South, Kudan, Kachia, Kagarko, and Kauru Local Government Areas (LGAs) of the state.
In Angwan Pama, Narayi, Sabon-Tasha, Maraban Rido and Karji areas in the Chikun LGA, many polling units were virtually empty as only few people came out to vote.
However, in Kakuri, Makera, Kakuri-Gwari and Barnanwa areas in Kaduna South LGA, there was appreciable turnout of voters amid allegations of vote buying by party agents.