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Nigeria's ruling party wins local election in northern state

Nigeria's ruling party wins local election in northern state
Election officials count ballots in front of agents and observers at a polling...   -  
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Nigeria's ruling party has won a gubernatorial election in the northern state of Kebbi, re-run after "inconclusive" results in March, the electoral commission said Sunday.

The collection of results in another state, Adamawa (northeast), where an election had to be reorganized for the same reasons, was suspended after the usurpation of the role of returning officer by the local representative of the Electoral Commission (INEC).

Voters were called on Saturday to re-elect the governors of the two states after the "inconclusive" 18 March polls, according to INEC, which cited suspicions of fraud.

New parliamentary elections were also held in some areas on Saturday.

On 25 February, Nigerians elected former Lagos State chief executive Bola Ahmed Tinubu of the APC party as president. He is due to succeed two-term incumbent Muhammadu Buhari on 29 May. But the opposition, citing fraud and irregularities, is challenging Mr Tinubu's victory in court.

Gubernatorial elections were held in 28 of Nigeria's 36 states on 18 March.

In both Kebbi and Adamawa, the re-run elections on Saturday pitted APC candidates against those of the main opposition party, the PDP.

In Kebbi, the Electoral Commission's representative Sa'idu Yusuf declared the APC candidate, Nasir Idris, the winner with 409,225 votes against his PDP rival, Aminu Bande (360,944 votes).

With this result, the APC now has 16 governors, the PDP has nine, and the Labour Party and the NNPP one each.

In Adamawa, the local representative of the Electoral Commission usurped the role of the returning officer and declared an APC candidate, Aisha Dahiru Binani, the winner.

The returning officer had on Saturday night postponed the collection of results from the last 10 districts to Sunday morning. But local INEC representative Nuhu Ari gathered a team of journalists before the counting resumed and declared Ms Binani the winner.

She was the only female gubernatorial candidate in Nigeria and faced incumbent Governor Ahmad Fintiri of the PDP.

The chaos created by Ms Binani's declaration of victory prompted INEC on Sunday to suspend the collection of results.

"The action of the REC (Resident Electoral Officer, a representative of the Election Commission) is a usurpation of the power of the returning officer. It is null and void," INEC added in a statement.

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