The Independent National Electoral Commission has stated that the governorship and state house of assembly election, earlier scheduled for Saturday February 11, was postponed due to litigation against the commission.
The commission said this in a statement issued by the National Commissioner and Chairman, Information and Voter Education Committee, Festus Okoye, on Wednesday night.
According to the commission, following the Wednesday’s rulling by the presidential election petition tribunal on the reconfiguration of the Bimodal Voter Accreditation System, used for the presidential election, held on February 25, the commission met to assess its impact on its preparations for the governorship and state house of assembly elections, scheduled for March 11, 2023, and decided to defer the election by one week.
The statement reads in part:
“Having been used for the Presidential and National Assembly elections on 25th February 2023, it is necessary to reconfigure the BVAS for activation on the date of the Governorship and State Assembly elections.
“While the ruling of the Tribunal makes it possible for the Commission to commence the preparation of the BVAS for the Governorship and State Assembly elections, it has come far too late for the reconfiguration to be concluded.
“Consequently, the Commission has taken the difficult but necessary decision to reschedule the Governorship and State Assembly elections which will now take place on Saturday 18th March 2023. By this decision, campaigns will continue until midnight of Thursday 16th March 2023 i.e. 24 hours before the new date for the election.”
It would be recalled that the presidential candidate of the Labour Party, Gregory Peter Obi had approached the court of appeal in Abuja to secure an order, restraining INEC from reconfiguring the BVAS, used for Saturday 25, presidential election in Nigeria
Meanwhile, the commission also approached the court, not to grant such application, stating that such action will affect its preparations for the coming Saturday’s governorship and state house of assembly elections.
However, the appellate court granted INEC permission to reconfigure the BVAS, but granted Peter Obi access to inspect other sensitive materials, used during the election.
The presidential candidate of the All Progressives Congress, Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu was declared winner of the Saturday February 25 presidential election in Nigeria, after polling a score of 8, 794,726 votes.