LAGOS (Reuters) – Nigeria’s electoral commission on Tuesday declared the incumbent in northeastern Adamawa state the winner of a governorship election marred by controversy, ending the bid by a ruling party candidate to become the country’s first elected female governor.
Ahmadu Fintiri’s victory came two days after the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) voided an initial result announced by its resident electoral commissioner who declared the ruling All Progressives Congress party’s Aisha Dahiru winner.
Nigerians voted for state governors on March 18 but in Adamawa, a largely conservative Muslim state, the race was inconclusive and supplementary voting was held on Saturday.
The INEC said the Adamawa electoral commissioner, who declared victory for Dahiru before results from half of the districts were collated, broke the law, had been suspended and faced prosecution.
Dahiru has been held up as a pioneer who could pave the way for more women to seek high political office in Nigeria.
Governors in Nigeria wield enormous influence and their support often decides who becomes president. Some governors preside over states whose annual budgets are bigger than some small African countries.
Tuesday’s results concluded this year’s election cycle that began with a Feb. 25 disputed presidential election won by the ruling party’s Bola Tinubu.