The Attorney General of the Federation and Minister for Justice, Abubakar Malami, has said that the All Progressives Congress, will be allowed to choose another governorship candidate for the Kogi state supplementary election.
The initial candidate, Audu Abubakar, gave up the ghost shortly after his contest with Governor Idris Wada, was declared inconclusive by the Independent National Electoral Commission.
As a result of the failure of the Nigerian constitution and the electoral act to address the peculiar situation caused by Audu’s death, several options had been bandied around as to what to course of action to take.
However, the AGF says the APC will be allowed to substitute Audu with another candidate, but he failed to mention if that person will be Audu’s running mate, James Faleke.
Malami revealed this on Tuesday, in Abuja, at a seminar organised by the Nigerian Law Reform Commission on the reform of the National Environmental Standards and Regulation Enforcement Agency (Establishment) Act.
He said: “The issue is very straightforward. Fundamentally, Section 33 of the Electoral Act is very clear that in case of death, the right for substitution by political a political party is sustained by the provisions of section 33 of the Electoral Act.”
And if you have a community reading of that section with section 221 of the constitution which clearly indicates that the right to vote is the right of a political party and the party in this case, the APC has participated in the conduct of the election.
“It is therefore apparent that the combination community reading of the two provisions does not leave any room for conjecture.
“APC as a party is entitled to substitution by the clear provisions of section 33 of the Electoral Act. Also section 221 of the Constitution is clear that the votes that were cast were cast in favour of the APC.”
“Arising from that deduction, it does not require any legal interpretation. The interpretation is clear, APC will substitute, which right has been sustained by section 33 of the Electoral Act. So be it.”
“The supplementary election has to be conducted along the line. It all depends on the appreciation of issues arising from the primaries conducted before now. There was a first and a second candidate.”
“That primaries that had taken place over time had not by anyway been nullified and it is recognised by law. But then, a further consideration would be the idea of conducting another primary but that is not envisaged in view of the sustainability of the first primaries.”