The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) on Saturday complied with the judgment of the Supreme Court and declared the governorship candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in Zamfara State, Bello Matawalle and others winners of the 2019 general election.
The commission also warned political parties to be conversant with the implications of the Supreme Court judgment in the case of Zamfara State.
The chairman of INEC, Prof. Mahmood Yakubu appealed to political parties intending to field candidates in the November 9 governorship elections in Bayelsa and Kogi States to adhere strictly to the timetable and schedule of activities for the 2019 Bayelsa and Kogi State governorship elections for which party primaries have been scheduled for between the August 2 and 29.
“It is clear that properly conducted party primaries are cardinal to the proper internal functioning of political parties, the electoral process and our democratic system at large. Therefore, political parties must take very seriously the conduct of primaries according to all extant rules, including the monitoring of the processes by INEC to avoid a repeat of the Zamfara experience”, the commission emphasised.
Yakubu, who declared the winners during a press briefing told journalists in Abuja that Certificates of Return would be given to the governor-elect, Deputy-governor-elect, three Senators and seven House of Representatives members-elect by 2:00 p.m. on Monday.
According to him, members of the State House of Assembly-elect would receive their Cs o R from the Resident Electoral Commissioner for Zamfara State at the INEC State Office in Gusau on Friday, May 31 2019 by 10:00 a.m.
Yakubu also clarified that unlike the National Assembly and State House of Assembly elections, governorship elections are determined not just by majority votes but also spread in accordance with Section 179 (2) of the 1999 Constitution (as amended).
He said, “Following the judgment of the Supreme Court, the commission has met in two emergency sessions and taken briefings from our lawyers and staff on the implementation of the Supreme Court judgment. While the legislative elections (Senatorial, House of Representatives and State House of Assembly elections) are straight forward to deal with because they entail first-past-the-post or simple majority of votes, the governorship election is determined not just by majority votes but also spread in accordance with Section 179 (2) of the 1999 Constitution (as amended).
“This means that we had to first discount the votes cast for the APC at the elections and then carefully rework the spread by Local Government Areas based on the new valid votes. In compliance with the Supreme Court judgment, the Commission has now determined the winners of the elections in Zamfara State.”