The death of Abubakar Audu, the All Progressives Congress (APC) candidate for governor in Kogi State has thrown up a constitutional crisis.
Audu died after the votes were cast on 21 November, but the (s)election was declared “inconclusive” because of irregularities in 91 polling units. That said, he was leading on the validated vote with 240,867 votes, while Idris Wada of the Peoples Democratic Party polled 199,514 votes.
If he had been declared the winner and passed away, the constitution provides for his running mate to become the governor. If he had died before the vote, the party would have been asked to nominate a successor.
To get round this vacuum in the law, INEC, the electoral commission, has fixed a supplementary (s)elections on 5 December. They have requested that the APC replace the deceased candidate.
See note from INEC (click on image to enlarge):
The problem with this solution is that the replacement candidate was not on the ballot for the original poll. Giving the replacement candidate the 240,867 votes for Audu looks illegal to this untrained eye.
This looks like a saga that would run in the courts for a long time.