The Senator representing Ondo Central, Adeniyi Adegbomire, has revealed why the National Assembly would not stop off-cycle elections despite calls following the poor performance of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) at the just concluded polls in Kogi, Bayelsa and Imo.
Making a case for the off-cycle election, Adegbomire, elected to the senate on the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) platform, argued that the off-cycle elections strengthened Nigeria’s democracy.
According to the senator, the off-cycle elections indicated that Nigerians’ votes count.
He added that society is headed toward perdition if its leaders are chosen through methods other than upholding the people’s will.
Reiterating that off-season elections in Nigeria strengthen democracy, Adegbomire pointed out that the National Assembly won’t pass a law to end them.
“It is a constitutional matter and the Supreme Court has been clear about it. The constitution says you shall be sworn in for a term of four years. That four years start from the day you were sworn in as a governor or president,” he said.
“The Electoral Act says you must have two-thirds of Local Governments’ majority votes but the constitution doesn’t stipulate that. So, there a criteria for winning an election and there are other criteria for tenure. The tenure is in the constitution. Technically, it means that the man who occupied the seat before he was thrown out was not duly elected and was technically, never a governor. However, the constitution and the Electoral Act recognise that while he is still in the office, even if he’s removed at the tribunal, so there won’t be lacuna, he will continue to be governor, until the final decision,” he added.
Naija News reports that the Senator’s comment comes a few days after former Nigerian president Goodluck Jonathan expressed worries over the conduct of off-cycle elections.
He voiced worry that the presidential election might eventually turn into an off-cycle election if the nation kept conducting off-season polls.
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