Mr Ikeji said that with such clause in the Electoral Act, when any candidate of a political party dies, he should die with the votes he had gotten in the process of the election, as seen in Kogi State last year.
The candidate of the All Progressives Congress in the Kogi State governorship election, Mr Abubakar Audu, had died in the course of the election and his votes were transferred to another a ‘replacement candidate’.
The decision had triggered controversy within the APC and even within the political sector.
To address the situation should such occur in future, the Senate decided to amend the Electoral Act to give a period not more than 21 days to the parties to present a replacement or take whatever decision that should be taken before the election would continue.
But Mr Ikeji believes the candidate should die with his votes.
“It is fair that votes to be attached to a candidate and not to the political party.
“Presently, as it is, votes count for the party not the candidate.
“By the intendment of the constitution, the vote belongs to the candidate,” he stated.
The Supreme Court while giving its ruling on a suit that was filed by one of the candidates in the Kogi election against the emergence of Mr Yahaya Bello as the governor, apportioned the vote to the political party, declaring Mr Yahaya, who completed an election that late Audu started the winner.
On the decision of the Supreme Court, Mr Ikeji said: “It was strange to me that the Supreme Court will lift vote belonging to one person and give it to another.
“Some people would have voted for Mr Audu because they wanted him and not Mr Bello while some, who would not have voted for Mr Audu, will vote for Mr Bello because he is their preferred candidate,” the lawyer pointed out.
He insisted that by the operation of law,”the Supreme Court ought to have either called for a fresh election or asked that the election be concluded in favour of the people who are already candidates”.
The Senate had amended the Electoral Act to ensure that a proper procedure is followed in situations where a candidate of a political party dies in an election.
Mr Ikeji welcomed the decision of the National Assembly to amend the law to settle such circumstances, pointing out that “law making is to cure mischief or apparent defects”.