The Attorney General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Abubakar Malami, has said the All Progressives Congress (APC), will substitute its candidate in the Kogi state supplementary governorship election.
Malami made the clarification Tuesday against the backdrop of the stalemate created by the death of Prince Abubakar Audu last Sunday, on a day the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) declared the governorship election inconclusive.
The AGF who made this known at a seminar organised by the Nigerian Law Reform Commission in Abuja on the reform of the National Environmental Standards and Regulation Enforcement Agency (Establishment) Act, said the election has to be concluded.
According to him, since the primary conducted by the APC prior to the election is still valid, the candidate that came second may have to be considered as replacement.
Malami said, “The issue is very straightforward. Fundamentally, section 33 of the Electoral Act is very clear that in case of death, the right for substitution by a political party is sustained by the provisions of section 33 of the Electoral Act.
“And if you have a community reading of that section with section 221 of the constitution which clearly indicates that the right to vote is the right of a political party and the party in this case, the APC has participated in the conduct of the election.
“It is therefore apparent that the combination community reading of the two provisions does not leave any room for conjecture.
“APC as a party is entitled to substitution by the clear provisions of section 33 of the Electoral Act. Also section 221 of the Constitution is clear that the votes that were cast were cast in favour of the APC.
“Arising from that deduction, it does not require any legal interpretation. The interpretation is clear, APC will substitute, which right has been sustained by section 33 of the Electoral Act. So be it.
“The supplementary election has to be conducted along the line.”
On the chances of the deputy governorship candidate being the candidate, he said: “It all depends on the appreciation of issues arising from the primaries conducted before now. There was a first and a second candidate. Those primaries that had taken place over time had not by anyway been nullified. And it is recognized by law.
“But then a further consideration would be the idea of conducting another primary but that is not envisaged in view of the sustainability of the first primaries.”