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The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has confirmed the suspension of the election in Enugu East Senatorial District following the death of the candidate of the Labour Party.
INEC Chairman, Mahmood Yakubu made this known at a media briefing on Friday in Abuja, the Federal Capital Territory.
According to him, the election in the senatorial district earlier slated for Saturday, February 25, 2023, has been moved to March 11, 2023.
Yakubu said the postponement in the district which covers six local government areas became necessary with the murder of the Labour Party (LP)’s senatorial candidate for the district, Oyibo Chukwu.
He said the Labour Party reached out to the electoral body to convey its intention to provide a replacement and go ahead with the poll at the new date.
Chukwu and his personal assistant were assassinated on Wednesday when hoodlums attacked them and set their vehicle ablaze in the Eke-Otu Amechi-Awkunanaw area of Enugu.
Speaking on Friday, the INEC chairman said the Labour Party said it will replace Chukwu.
He said, ‘The party also conveyed its intention to participate in the election for that constituency by replacing its deceased candidate. This request is in line with the provision of the law – Section 34, Sub-Section 1 of the Electoral Act 2022.’
‘The Labour Party has provided satisfactory evidence of the death of its candidate. Consequently, the commission has suspended the election in the Senatorial district as provided by law.
‘We have already communicated this decision to our Enugu State office.
‘Therefore, there will be no senatorial election in Enugu East Senatorial District made up of six local government areas, 77 wards, and 1,630 polling units tomorrow, February 25, 2023
‘The election will now be combined with the governorship and state assemblies elections holding in the next two weeks, on 11th of March 2023.’
Yakubu said the electoral materials for the election in the senatorial district will remain in the custody of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) till the new date.