The Independent National Electoral Commission has less than five days to fix a date for the conduct of a bye-election for the Cross River North Senatorial Election.
This follows an order of a federal high court sitting in Abuja, based on a suit filed by the trio of Koko Dan Agaji, Idagu Thomas Odey and Stephen Ogar, against INEC.
In the suit, Agaji et al had asked for a declaration that by virtue of section 76(2) of the 1999 constitution(as amended0, and section 25(2) of the Electoral Act(as amended), the INEC “is obliged to conduct a bye-election and fill a vacancy in the Cross River North Senatorial District not later than one month after the occurrence of vacancy.”
Agaji, a lawyer and businessman, had also asked the court for an order of mandamus compelling INEC to organise and fix a date for the bye-election to fill the vacancy in the senatorial district within five days from the date of the order.
The trial judge, Mr Justice A.1.Chikere, after hearing arguments from the applicants and INEC, on Friday ordered INEC to fix a date for the election within five days, as it granted all the prayers made by Agaji. From the court order, INEC has about three days left to fix a date for the election.
The election is to fill the vacant seat left as a result of the death of Senator Roe Oko who represented that senatorial district until a few months ago when she died. It is not clear if her remains have been brought back to Nigeria for burial.
The judge said: The Independent National Electoral Commission is hereby compelled to organise and fix a date for the bye-election to fill the vacancy in Cross River North Senatorial District within five days from the day of grant(Friday, July 17).