Candidates of the All Progressives Congress (APC) last night established clear lead in the by-elections held in Ebonyi South Senatorial District and Yobe East Senatorial District.
The party won outright in the by-election in Surulere 1 federal constituency of Lagos State.
Prince Pam Dachungyang of the Action Democratic Party (ADP) surged ahead in Plateau North following protest votes by the electorate to express their displeasure at the exclusion of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) from the polls.
The by-elections took place in 26 states across the country, namely Adamawa, Akwa Ibom, Anambra, Bauchi, Bayelsa, Benue, Borno, Cross River, Delta, Ebonyi, Enugu, Jigawa, Kaduna, Kano, Katsina, Kebbi, Lagos, Nasarawa, Niger, Ondo, Oyo, Plateau, Sokoto, Taraba, Yobe and Zamfara.
However, midway into the polls yesterday, the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) announced the suspension of voting in Ikono/Ini federal constituency of Akwa Ibom State and some state constituencies in Enugu and Kano states, citing irregularities, disruption of election and abduction of electoral officials.
According to vote returns from the polling units as posted by INEC on its I-Rev portal last night, APC’s Professor Anthony Ani was leading comfortably in Ebonyi South while Hon. Musa Mustapha also of the APC seemed to have garnered most of the results for Yobe East.
The majority of the voters in Plateau North Senatorial District, apparently disenchanted by the exclusion of the PDP from the by-election, chose to cast their lot for Dachungyang, although INEC said yesterday that it had postponed voting in 18 units in the senatorial district.
The Resident Electoral Commissioner in the State, Dr Oliver Agundu, said the postponement was as a result of complaints about shortage of electoral materials in some polling units.
He said: “15 are in Tudun-Wada/Kabong Ward, and three are in Naraguta B ward all in Jos North LGA. So, we have decided that we cannot even take it for granted that this is a negligible number compared to over 900 polling units where the elections took place.”
The commission last night declared APC’s Kayode Laguda winner of the Surulere1 election with 11,203 votes.
His closest opponent, Jerry Afemikhe of the PDP got 278 votes while Adeola Adebano of Labour Party had 240 votes.
There were a total of 11,801 valid votes, according to INEC. 138 of the lot were rejected.
Below is the full result:
ADC – 40
APC – 11, 203
APGA – 6
APM – 7
APP – 4
LP – 240
NNPP – 8
PDP – 278
SDP – 2
YPP – 9
ZLP – 4
Laguda is replacing the immediate past Speaker of the House of Representatives, Mr. Femi Gbajabiamila, in the Green Chamber.
Gbajabiamila vacated the seat following his appointment as Chief of Staff to President Bola Tinubu last June.
Soon after casting his vote yesterday, a confident Laguda had told newsmen that he was waiting to be congratulated as winner of the election.
He said: “APC as a party campaigned seriously, and we approached people to come out and vote.
“As a party that did the best we were able to do, we are hoping that they will still come out and vote.”
Police arrest dozens of ballot box snatchers in Kano rerun
The police arrested many suspected ballot box snatchers during the rerun election into the Kano State House of Assembly.
The police in Sokoto also confirmed the arrest of two persons for disrupting the rerun election process in Sokoto State yesterday.
The command’s spokesman, ASP Ahmed Rufa’I, said the arrests were made at the Magaji polling units in Shagari town, Shagari Local Government Area.
The apprehended Kano youths were armed with dangerous weapons with the intention of disrupting the elections in Kunchi Local Government Area of the state, police said.
It was gathered that in Tsanyawa Local government Area, some youths reportedly snatched ballot boxes during the exercise.
The rerun election in Kura Local Government Area of the state was however peaceful.
Security personnel were present in the polling units where the rerun election was held in Kura.
Turnout was high in all the areas where the election was held peacefully.
Commissioner of Police, Mohammed Usaini Gumel, who spoke on the arrest of the election disrupters, said the thugs arrested in possession of firearms were hired by a politician contesting the election.
“We saw a truck that is faulty by the roadside. We saw people in large number by the roadside.
“At first, they gave us the impression that it was the fuel of the vehicle that finished. But upon close observation, we saw them in possession of arms.
“One Abdulrazaq Muhammad a.k.a. Mai Salati, from Kano Municipal, told us the candidate who is contesting in the area invited them over.
“We will get the person to know if he is truly a candidate contesting and why did he invite them to the area.
“We suspect they are in the bush to lay ambush on the electoral officers while on their way with the election results.”
The development was responsible for the suspension of voting in the constituency.