The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), has on Sunday declared the just concluded Nasarawa/Toto Federal Constituency bye-election inconclusive due to cancellation of votes as a result of over voting.
The declaration was made by the Constituency Returning Officer of the election, Wilfred Uji of the Federal University, Lafia, Nasarawa State, while announcing the outcome of the poll in Nasarawa, Nasarawa Local Government Area of the state.
Referring to Section 53 of the Electoral Act which gives the commission the power to cancel elections in polling units where there is over voting, Uji said:
“For Nasarawa/Toto federal constituency, we have a total number of 202,338 registered voters for the election out of which 76,475 were accredited and the total vote cast was 75,826 and we have 74,848 valid votes and the rejected votes stand at 978.
“The cancelled votes taken from the vote cast stand at 39,150 and the four political parties that participated at the bye-election scored the following votes, APC scored 46,559; PDP scored 17,068; APGA 11,181 and Labour party (LP) got 40 votes.
“The marginal difference between the APC and PDP is 29,491, and the cancelled votes is 39,150, so the cancelled votes exceeded the marginal difference between APC and PDP as a result of over voting in some polling units of the constituency.
“Based on the relevant laws guiding the commission, we hereby order for a rerun in the affected polling units on Wednesday, June 1 in order to get a winner and such decision has been taken in the interest of peace.”
On Saturday, the State Commissioner of Police, Lawal Shehu, had confirmed that hoodlums snatched five ballot boxes in the on-going bye elections in the state.
Shehu said INEC officials reported the snatching of ballot boxes containing electoral materials in units 003,004,005,006 and 008, adding that he had directed his men to ensure the recovery of the boxes and arrest of culprits.
“We are doing our best to ensure violence- free election; to also ensure the protection of lives and property, as such we will not allow any person or groups to cause distraction,” he said.