AS confusion and legal crisis trail the inconclusive Kogi State governorship election following the death of the All Progressives Congress (APC) candidate, Prince Abubakar Audu, the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) will today meet with a consortium of lawyers to find a constitutional solution to the situation. This is even as the APC governors said they will not surrender their Kogi State mandate.
An impeccable INEC source who spoke to Daily Sun in confidence in Abuja yesterday, revealed that after several hours meeting of the National Com- missioners and the Chairman, Prof. Mahmood Yakubu, the eggheads of the electoral umpire have resolved to meet with a consortium of lawyers today.
Our source further revealed that the meeting with the consortium, involving several legal luminaries, became very expedient following the commissioners’ inability to find a lasting legal and constitutional solution to the governorship election problem in Kogi.
Asked if the commission will contemplate fresh election due to the death of the APC governorship candidate, our source said it was a very difficult decision for the National Com- missioners and the chairman to take during the meeting especially as there was no provision for such, both in the Electoral Act and the 1999 Constitution.
While stressing that INEC is left with no option than to make extensive consultation with the consortium of lawyers, our source noted: “It is true that the INEC Chairman, Prof. Yakubu met all day with the National Commissioners on Monday (yesterday) to find a lasting solution to the Kogi inconclusive governorship election.
“However, they could not arrive at any decision because of the legal implication of such decision. You know that there is a legal lacuna and the absence of such provision in both the Electoral Act and the Constitution made the situation even more complicated.
“At the end of that meeting, they could only resolve to as- semble a consortium of legal experts to find a lasting solution to the problem. I can tell you that by the time they meet them on Tuesday, the situation on the next line of action concerning the Kogi governorship election will be clearer.
“INEC is very cautious of taking a rash decision that may not have legal backing. There- fore, the involvement of the legal luminaries will provide the clearer picture of the next line of action for INEC to take,” the source noted.
Meanwhile, the APC governors said yesterday they will stand by the Audu family. A statement by the Chairman, APC Governors Forum, Owelle Rochas Okorocha of Imo State and signed by Esohe Eboigbe, the Acting Communication Officer, the forum described Audu’s death as one of the most tragic anti-climaxes in the Nigerian politics.
Speaking on what becomes of the inconclusive Kogi governorship election, the forum noted: “In death, we celebrate a great son of Kogi State and Nigeria. As Progressive Governors, we remain resolute and shall stand by the family of Prince Abubakar Audu, the defiantly progressive people of Kogi State and Nigeria and our leaders of APC at all levels to consummate the electoral vic- tory of APC in Kogi State.
“It is with great shock that we received the news of the death of Prince Audu, the candidate of our great party APC for the Kogi State governorship election held on November 21, 2015. His death is indeed one of the most tragic anti-climaxes in contemporary Nigerian politics,” it said.