The Electoral Act 2010 empowers INEC to cancel an election where there is a basis for it.
Section 53 (1) provides:
“(1) No voter shall vote for more than one candidate or record more than one vote in favour of any candidate at any one election.
“(2) Where the votes cast at an election in any polling unit exceed the number of registered voters in that polling unit, the result of the election for that polling unit shall be declared void by the commission and another election may be conducted at a date to be fixed by the commission where the result at that polling unit may affect the overall result in the constituency.
“(3) Where an election is nullified in accordance with subsection (2) of this section, there shall be no return for the election until another poll has taken place in the affected area.”
Section 47 of the Electoral Act, 2010 provides: “Voting in any particular election under the Act shall take place on the same day and time throughout the federation.”
Section 46(1)(a) of the Act provides: “The Commission shall, not later than 14 days before the day of election, cause to be published, in such manner as it may deem fit, a notice specifying the day and hour fixed for the poll.”
However, Section 26(1) of the Electoral Act provides: “Where a date has been appointed for the holding of an election, and there is reason to believe that a serious breach of the peace is likely to occur if the election is proceeded with on that date or it is impossible to conduct the elections as a result of natural disasters or other emergencies, the commission may postpone the election and shall in respect of the area, or areas concerned, appoint another date for the holding of the postponed election, provided that such reason for the postponement is cogent and verifiable.”
Section 26 (3, 4 &5) provides: “Where the commission appoints a substituted date in accordance with subsections (1) and (2) of this Section, there shall be no return for the election until polling has taken place in the area or areas affected.
“Notwithstanding the provision of subsection (3) of this section, the Commission may, if satisfied that the result of the election will not be affected by voting in the area or areas in respect of which substituted dates have been appointed, direct that a return of the election be made.”
Section 178, sub-section (1) of the 1999 Constitution conferred on INEC the power to conduct Governorship election as it declares: ”An election to the office of Governor of a State shall be held on a date to be appointed by the Independent National Electoral Commission.”
Sub-section (2) states: “An election to the office of Governor of a State shall be held on a date not earlier than sixty days and not later than thirty days before the expiration of the term of office of the last holder of that office.”
Section 179, sub-section (4) of the 1999 Constitution states: “In default of a candidate duly elected under subsection (2) of this section, the Independent National Electoral Commission shall within seven days of the result of the election held under that subsection, arrange for an election between the two candidates and a candidate at such election shall be deemed to have been duly elected to the office of Governor of a State if – (a) he has a majority of the votes cast at the election; and (b) he has not less than one-quarter of the votes cast at the election in each of at least two-thirds of all the local government areas in the state.”
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