On Tuesday, November 14, INEC clarified that it employed the “margin of lead principle” when declaring the winner of the Kogi governorship election held on November 11.
The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has opened up on why it immediately announced the winner of the November 11 governorship elections in Kogi State, despite some local government areas being scheduled for a re-run due to electoral offenses.
INEC declared Usman Ododo, the APC candidate, as the winner of the Kogi governorship election with 446,237 votes. Murtala Ajaka of the Social Democratic Party secured 259,052 votes, and Dino Melaye of the Peoples Democratic Party polled 46,362 votes.
On Tuesday, November 14, INEC clarified that it applied the “margin of lead principle” in announcing the election results. Consequently, the supplementary election initially planned for November 18 was canceled. Haliru Sule, Head of Voter Education and Publicity at the Kogi INEC office, stated that the decision followed investigations into various complaints received during the election, leading to a re-run announcement in Ogorimagongo and some local government areas.
“But when we looked at all that is in contention, we discovered that we have no option but to apply the margin of lead principle.
“The principle says that if the number of PVCs collected in polling units where elections didn’t hold or were canceled is not in excess of the difference between the winner and the loser, then the commission can go ahead and make its declaration.
“We did indeed announce after our findings that there will be a supplementary election in those areas in contention, but after due consideration of the difference, we applied the margin of lead principle.
“It was when we applied the margin of lead principle that we announced the result on Sunday, Nov. 12, and declared the winner of the governorship election in Kogi, in the person of Alhaji Usman Ododo of the All Progressives Congress (APC).
“As it is now, there’s not going to be any supplementary or re-run in any polling unit in Kogi.
“By this, the governorship election in Kogi is concluded. What is left is the date for the issuance of a certificate of return to the winner of that election,” he said.
“We hope to continue to get this kind of cooperation and support from all of them, particularly the politicians and the electorate, in subsequent elections in the state,” he said.