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Political Crisis As Family Confirms Death Of Abia PDP Governorship, Professor Uche Ikonne  

Crisis is imminent as Professor Uche Ikonne, candidate of the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) for the 2023 Governorship election in Abia State, is dead.

This is because in case of death, Section 34 of the Electoral Act, 2022 states that “provided that in the case of Presidential or Gubernatorial or Federal Capital Territory Area Council election, the running mate shall continue with the election and nominate a new running mate.”

Earlier, Section 33 Nigeria Electoral Act 2022 on Political parties changing candidates says: “A political party shall not be allowed to change or substitute its candidate whose name has been submitted under section 29 of this Act, except in the case of death or withdrawal by the candidate:

“Provided that in the case of such withdrawal or death of a candidate, the political party affected shall, within 14 days of the occurrence of the event, hold a fresh primary election to produce and submit a fresh candidate to the Commission for the election concerned.”

Professor Ikonne’s family confirmed that he died at the National Hospital Abuja on 4am on Wednesday after a brief illness.

Confirming the death, his son, Dr Uche Ikonne wrote; “I regret to announce the death of my dear father, Prof Eleazar Uchenna Ikonne, who died at the National Hospital Abuja today January 2023
25, by 4 am after a brief illness.

 “He was recovering after taking proper treatment in the United Kingdom but relapsed a few days ago leading to multiple cardiac arrests from which he didn’t recover from.

“Further details and arrangements would be made known to the public after deliberations and meetings are made within the family.”

Section 34 of the Electoral Act, 2022 says that where a nominated candidate dies before the date of election, the elections will be rescheduled within 14 days by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC).

Similarly, where a nominated candidate dies after the commencement of polls and before the final result and declaration of a winner, INEC is empowered to suspend the election for a period not more than 21 days.

However, in case of Presidential or Gubernatorial or Federal Capital Territory Area Council election, the running mate shall continue with the election and nominate a new running mate.

Specifically, Section 34 of the Electoral Act states: “(1) If after the time for the delivery of nomination paper and before the commencement of the poll, a nominated candidate dies, the Chief National Electoral Commissioner shall, being satisfied of the fact of the death, countermand the poll in which the deceased candidate was to participate and the Commission shall appoint some other convenient date for the election within 14 days.”

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