Nigeria’s Justice Minister asks APC to replace late Abubakar Audu

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prince abubakar audu

The Attorney General of the Federation and Minister for Justice, Abubakar Malami SAN, has said for the inconclusive Kogi State governorship election, the All Progressives Congress will only need to substitute its candidate, Abubakar Audu, who died on Sunday.

Malami, who spoke in Abuja at a seminar organised by the Nigerian Law Reform Commission on the reform of the National Environmental Standards and Regulation Enforcement Agency (Establishment) Act?, said the election has to be concluded.

Malami said the APC would have to substitute its candidate for the purpose of the supplementary election.

He however did not say that the party’s deputy governorship candidate, James Abiodun Faleke, would automatically step in as the candidate.

He said: “The issue is very straightforward.

“Fundamentally, Section 33 of the Electoral Act is very clear? that in case of death, the right for substitution by a political party is sustained by the provisions of section 33 of the Electoral Act.

“And if you have a community reading of that section with Section 221 of the Constitution, which clearly indicates that the right to vote is the right of a political party and the party in this case, the APC has participated in the conduct of the election.

“It is therefore apparent that ?the combination community reading of the two provisions does not leave any room for conjecture.

“APC as a party is entitled to substitution by the clear provisions of section 33 of the Electoral Act.

“Also Section 221 of the Constitution is clear that the votes that were cast were cast in favour of the APC.

“Arising from that deductions, it does not require any legal interpretation.

“The interpretation is clear: APC will substitute, which right has been sustained by Section 33 of the Electoral Act.

“So be it. The supplementary election that has to be conducted along the line.”

Asked if ?that substitution should automatically benefit Faleke, Malami said: “It all depends on the appreciation of issues arising from the primaries conducted before now.

“There was a first and a second candidate.

“That primaries that had taken place over time had not by anyway been nullified. And it is recognized by law.

“But then a further consideration would be the idea of conducting another primary but that is not envisaged in view of the sustainability of the first primaries.?”

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