The death on Wednesday of the Abia State governorship of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) has thrown up legal concerns. With 39 days to the governorship election, what is PDP’s fate in the 11 March poll?
Former Vice Chancellor of Abia State University, Prof. Eleazar Uchenna Ikonne emerged the candidate of the PDP in the primary conducted last 25 May. He secured 468 out of 536 votes to defeat his closest rival, Mayor Lucky Igbokwe who had 45 votes, while Mrs Ezenwanyi Jonah got five votes.
Seven other aspirants including the Deputy Governor, Rt. Hon. Ude Oko Chukwu; Senate Minority Leader, Enyinnaya Abaribe; and Senator Emma Nwaka had earlier withdrawn from the race, citing the use of fake news and non-compliance with due process.
(3) If after the commencement of polls and before the announcement of the final result and declaration of a winner, a candidate dies—
(a) the Commission shall, being satisfied of the fact of the death, suspend the election for a period not more than 21 days; and
(b) in the case of election into a legislative House, the election shall start afresh and the political party whose candidate died may, if it intends to continue to participate in the election, conduct a fresh primary within 14 days of the death of its candidate and submit the name of a new candidate to the Commission to replace the dead candidate
Provided that in the case of presidential or gubernatorialor Federal Capital Territory Area Council election, the running mate shall continue with the election and nominate a new running mate.