Senate President Godswill Akpabio has officially declared the Yobe East Senatorial District, previously held by Sen. Ibrahim Geidam, and the Ebonyi South Senatorial seat, formerly occupied by Dave Umahi, as vacant. Both Geidam and Umahi resigned from the Senate after their appointment as ministers by President Bola Tinubu, but the Senate leadership had initially been silent on the matter.
The declaration of the two senatorial seats as vacant means that the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) is now legally required to conduct elections in these constituencies within the next 90 days.
In making the announcement, Senate President Akpabio urged INEC to proceed with conducting by-elections to fill the vacant seats. He stated, “The Ebonyi South and Yobe East senatorial seats are hereby declared vacant in accordance with constitutional provisions. This follows the assumption of office as ministers of Senators Ibrahim Geidam and Dave Umahi. INEC may, therefore, wish to conduct a by-election to fill the vacant seats.”
INEC chairman, Prof. Mahmood Yakubu, had previously indicated that the electoral body planned to conduct reruns and bye-elections in February 2024 to fill existing vacancies in both state and federal legislatures.