By Adedapo Adesanya
The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has declared candidate of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Mr Smart Adeyemi, as the winner of the freshly conducted Kogi West senatorial district rerun election in some wards in the state.
The former President of the Nigerian Union of Journalists (NUJ) defeated his contender, Mr Dino Melaye, of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) at the exercise held in 53 polling units across seven local government areas on Saturday.
According to the INEC Returning Officer for the election, Professor Olayinde Lawal, Mr Adeyemi polled a total of 88,373 to defeat his closest rival who was previously occupying the seat, Mr Melaye, who garnered 62,133 votes.
Ambassador Rufus Aiyenigba of the Social Democratic Party (SDP) came third in the poll with 659 votes and was followed by John Olabode and Adeyemi Taiwo of the African Democratic Congress (ADC) and Nigeria Elements Progressive Party (NEPP) who had 262 and 119 votes respectively.
It should be recalled that a Kogi State tribunal had ordered that another election be conducted after Senator Melaye was sacked from his seat. Then this was scheduled to hold on November 16 alongside the state’s gubernatorial election.
However, the November 16 election was declared inconclusive by the electoral body on the grounds that the number of cancelled votes was higher than the margin between the PDP and APC candidates.
Governor Yahaya Bello won his second term in office after securing victory with a high margin.
Mr Bello, who participated in the poll under the platform of the All Progressives Congress (APC), had raked a total 406,222 votes ahead of Musa Wada of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) who had 189,704 votes, while Natasha Akpoti of the Social Democratic Party, emerged third with 9,482 votes.
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