The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has declared the Yobe South Senatorial District election inconclusive.
The Returning Officer, Prof. Shettima Saidu of Federal University Gashua, Yobe, made the declaration in Potiskum on Monday.
He said the leading candidates, Alhaji Ibrahim Bomoi of the All Progressives Congress (APC) and Alhaji Halilu Mazagane of the People’s Democratic Party (PDP), scored 69,417 and 68,800 respectively.
Saidu, however, said the lead margin of 617 votes between the candidates was less than the total votes cancelled in the election.
The returning officer said the cancellation was done at Manawaci 003 Polling Unit in Fika Local Government following incidents of over voting and other irregularities.
Saidu said the cancellation was mandatory as the total number of valid votes exceeded the total number of accredited voters in the unit which had 1,118 registered voters.
He said fresh election would subsequently be conducted at the district, but only between Bomoi and Mazagane.
“I want us to get it straight that the difference between the first and second position is 617 votes. However, we had a total of 1,118 votes cancelled in the process of the election.
“If the difference was higher than the votes cancelled, then we would have declared the winner.
“But, by virtue of Section 4(2)(7) of INEC Manual, where cancelled votes are higher than the lead margin, we can’t declare a winner,” he explained.