The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has declared the candidate of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Senator Smart Adeyemi, as the winner of the Kogi West senatorial district election.
The Returning Officer of the election, Professor Olajide Lawal, announced this on Saturday at the collation centre in Lokoja, the Kogi State capital.
According to him, Senator Adeyemi polled a total of 88,373 votes to beat his closest rival, Senator Dino Melaye of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) who scored 62,133 votes.
Lawal added that Ambassador Rufus Aiyenigba of the Social Democratic Party (SDP) came third in the poll with 659 votes and was trailed by John Olabode and Adeyemi Taiwo of the African Democratic Congress (ADC) and Nigeria Elements Progressive Party (NEPP who) garnered 262 and 119 votes respectively.
The commission thereafter declared the APC candidate as the winner of the keenly contested election two weeks after the people of the senatorial district went to the poll.
This supplementary poll came following the November 16 rerun election which failed to produce a winner, which was said to have been marred by violence and other alleged electoral malpractices.
Although the results of the poll favoured Senator Adeyemi who polled 80,118 votes as against Senator Melaye’s 59,548 votes, the returning officer had said that he was constrained by law to declare a winner.
He explained that the margin of 20,570 votes between the two candidates was lower than the number of cancelled votes in 53 polling units of the 20 registration.
Following the victory of the APC candidate in the rerun poll and upon receiving the certificate of return, Adeyemi will replace Melaye as the lawmaker representing Kogi West senatorial district in the National Assembly.
INEC’s decision to conduct a fresh election in the senatorial district was in line with the order of the Court of Appeal in Abuja, which dismissed an appeal filed by Senator Melaye challenging the nullification of his victory on February 23. during the general elections.