From Romanus Ugwu, Abuja
The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), has fixed March 27, 2021 for the conduct of the bye-election into the vacant seat of Aba North/South Federal Constituency of Abia State.
INEC, in a statement issued by the National Commissioner and Chairman, Information and Voter Education Committee, Festus Okoye, charged the political parties to conduct primaries between March 4 and 10, 2021 while the last day for submission of list of nominated candidates is 6pm, March 16, 2021.
The statement titled conduct of byeelection in Aba North/South Federal Constituency of Abua state, the Commission noted: “INEC met on Thursday and deliberated on a number of issues, including the conduct of bye-election into the vacant seat of Aba North/South Federal Constituency of Abia State.
“The vacancy arose as a result of the death of Hon. Ossy Prestige, member representing Aba North/South Federal Constituency of Abia State in the House of Representatives and the subsequent declaration of vacancy for the Federal Constituency by the National Assembly.
“Consequently, the Commission has fixed Saturday March 27, 2021 for the conduct of the bye-election to fill the vacant seat for the Aba North/South Federal Constituency of Abia State.
“The official notification for the election will be published on Monday March 1, 2021. Political Parties shall conduct their primaries between March 4 and 10, 2021 while the last day for submission of list of nominated candidates is at 6pm on the March 16, 2021,” it noted.
While giving further information about the byelection, the Commission stated: “Political parties shall submit the names of their Polling Agents for the election to the Electoral Officers of the respective Local Governments on or before March 19, 2021 and campaigns by political parties shall stop on March 25, 2021.
“The Access Code for the nomination forms shall be available for collection from March 10, 2021 at the Commission’s headquarters.
Political parties fielding candidates for the bye-election should pay close attention to the Timetable and Schedule of Activities for the conduct of the bye-election and conduct transparent and valid party primaries in line with the dictates of Section 87 of the Electoral Act 2010 (As amended),” INEC revealed.
The Commission while reading the riot act, noted: “We enjoin political parties to note that under section 31(8) of the Electoral Act, a political party which presents to the Commission the name of a candidate who does not meet the qualifications stipulated in the Constitution and the Electoral Act shall be guilty of an offence and on conviction shall be liable to a maximum fine of N500, 000.00
“The detailed Timetable and Schedule of activities has been uploaded on the Commission’s website and social media platforms,” the statement read.