The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has fixed February 26, 2022, for the conduct of by-elections for six constituencies across four states.
Disclosing this in a statement, yesterday, the Chairman, Information and Voter Education Committee, Festus Okoye, warned political parties against nominating unqualified candidates for the polls.
The six pending by-elections include Akure North/Akure South Federal Constituency, Ondo State; Jos North/Bassa Federal Constituency, Plateau State; Pankshin South State Constituency, Plateau State; Ogoja/Yala Federal Constituency, Cross River State; Akpabuyo State Constituency, Cross River State; and Ngor-Okpala State Constituency, Imo State.
The elections will hold two weeks after the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) Area Council elections on Saturday, February 12.
Okoye said the decision to conduct the by-elections immediately after the FCT poll was to enable the commission clear most of the polls and focus on the Ekiti, Osun governorship elections and prepare for the 2023 general elections.
He noted that some of the vacancies arose as a result of the death of the previous occupants, substantial disruption of the electoral process and fulfilment of constitutional and legal requirements in the electoral process.
INEC, he added, considered the issues that led to the vacancies and the rescheduling of some of the elections as well as the security situation in some of the states.
In view of this, Okoye said the commission would combine the Ekiti East Constituency 1 election with the governorship ballot scheduled for June 18, 2022 in the state.
He added: “The commission is consulting with security agencies and the critical stakeholders relating to the vacancy in Shinkafi State Constituency of Zamfara State, while the Speaker of the Kaduna State House of Assembly has not declared vacancy in relation to Giwa State Constituency of the state.
“The official notification for the elections will be published on Monday, January 24, 2022. Political parties shall conduct their primaries and resolve disputes arising from the primaries between January 26 and February 5, 2022, while the last day for submission of nominated candidates’ list is February 9, by 6.00p.m. This must be done through the commission’s online nomination portal.
“Political parties shall submit the names of their polling agents for the election to the Electoral Officer (EO) of the local council on or before February 12, and campaigns by political parties shall stop on February 24.”