The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has attributed its inability to conduct a re-run election in Oguta State Constituency, Imo, to three pending court cases on the election.
Mr Kayode Idowu, Chief Press Secretary to INEC Chairman, told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Abuja on Tuesday that two contestants from two different political parties had gone to court to seek different reliefs on the contest.
He said that the election into the Imo State House of Assembly for Oguta constituency was conducted on April 26, 2011 in seven wards because of violence in four wards.
``Elections could not hold on April 26, 2011, and May 6, 2011, in Uwaorie, Mgbala/Uba, Obudi/Aro and Ndi Ulokwu/Umuowerre but it was held in Egwe/Egbuoma, Oru, Ossemotor/Enigbo, Awa and Izombe.
He said ``Section 73 and 74 of the Electoral Act provide that when the results are collated, if the difference between the first person and the runner-up surpasses the number of voters in the wards where elections are not held, then a re-run can be made.
``For example, if the first person gets 120,000 and the second person gets 118,000 and the number of voters in wards where election is not held is 1,500, then the re-run cannot be made.
``In other words, theoretically, if the 1,500 voters were to vote for the second person, he would not catch up with the first person,'' Idowu said.
He said another election was rescheduled for the wards for May 6, 2011 but it could not hold as a result of violence.
Idowu said one of the parties went to court asking that INEC should be compelled to declare the PDP candidate in the election as the winner.
He said on April 20, 2011, there was another letter on notice served INEC, seeking an interlocutory injunction restraining INEC from conducting any election in the constituency pending the hearing of the substantive suite.
Idowu said the commission was served another notice on April 12, 2011 for standing on the position of the law ``that since the number of voters exceeds the number of the difference, a re-run cannot be made. The PDP appealed against the stand.
He said besides, there was another suit by APGA at the Federal High Court seeking an order to compel INEC to conduct election in all the 11 wards.
Idowusaid that till the cases were disposed of, INEC would not conduct any election in Oguta Constituency in order to guard against contempt of court. (NAN)