78 RERUNS: INEC TO MEET BUHARI, NASS OVER FUNDING
The Independent National Electoral Commission is to conduct 78 reruns this year.
The supplementary elections, which will take place across the country, are based on the rulings of the Court of Appeal, which ordered that fresh elections be conducted in some states.
The court verdicts were delivered in November and December of 2015, when the courts directed INEC to conduct the reruns within 60 or 90 days.
A breakdown of the elections indicates that the Commission will conduct 10 Senatorial, 12 State Constituencies and 37 State Assembly supplementary elections.
Others are 17 Federal Constituency elections and two governorship reruns, subject to the verdict of the Supreme Court.
The commission will, however, meet with President Muhammadu Buhari and the leadership of the National Assembly on how to finance the elections.
Our correspondent gathered on Thursday that the financial implications of the reruns were not captured either in the 2015 or 2016 budget.
The 2016 appropriation bill is still pending before the National Assembly and has yet to be debated by the two chambers.
The commission’s Deputy Director of Publicity and Voter Education, Mr. Nick Dazang, made this known in an interview with our correspondent in Abuja on Thursday.
Dazang said the commission was optimistic that both the executive and the legislature would come to its aid on the need to provide the needed funds for the court-ordered elections.
He said, “You know that these elections were ordered by the court and therefore, we have no option but to abide by the judgments.
“We are in a democracy and because of the urgency of the elections, we are sure that both arms of government will listen to us.
“Before now, we have always enjoyed the support of the two arms of government and we also know that this one won’t be an exception.”
No date has been fixed for the conduct of the elections but Dazang said the commission would need to abide by the period given to it to conduct the elections by the courts.
Some of the states, where the reruns will hold include Abia, Adamawa, Akwa-Ibom, Anambra, Bayelsa, Benue, Gombe, Imo, Kaduna, Kogi and Nasarawa.
Others are Niger, Plateau, Rivers and Taraba states.
Rivers tops the list of the affected states, where apart from the governorship election, the commission will also conduct elections into 36 other positions, ranging from the Senate, House of Representatives to the State House of Assembly.
The state is also the only one where the victories of all the three senators were nullified by the Court of Appeal.