A Federal High Court sitting in Abuja has ordered the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to fix a date that it will conduct a bye-election for Cross River North Senatorial District.
The order follows a suit filed by Koko Dan Agaji, Idagu Thomas Odey and Stephen Ogar, against INEC.
In the suit, the applicants 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.”
The respondents equally 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.
In the ruling, the trial judge, A.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 demise of Senator Rose 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.
According to him “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).”