The ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) has rejected the decision taken by the Independent National Electoral Commission (Inec) on the controversial governorship election results from Tafawa Balewa local government area of Bauchi state.
The electoral body had earlier declared the governorship election in the state as “inconclusive” after it observed that the margin between the two leading candidates was less than the number of cancelled votes.
Returning Officer for Bauchi, Prof. Mohammed Kyari, said that apart from the cancellation of the result from Tafawa Balewa because of irregularities, there were similar problems in some other polling units.
Results collated for the keenly contested election showed that the candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party, Bala Mohammed, got 469,512 votes, while the incumbent governor, Mohammed Abubakar, secured 465,453 votes.
To this end, the commission fixed March 23 as date for supplementary elections in the affected areas.
But on Friday, Inec made a U-turn by approving the resumption and conclusion of collation of results in the State, thereby cancelling the supplementary election fixed for March 23.
Concise News learned that an Inec committee had met on Tuesday, March 12, to review issues surrounding the poll in Tafawa Balewa.
According to the committee, elections held in the local government area and the votes scored by candidates were announced at the polling units.
But the Bauchi state chapter of the APC said on Saturday that the action taken by the electoral body was null and void.
Addressing a press conference, the state chairman of the party, Uba Ahmed Nana, said the position taken by INEC contravened the provisions of the Electoral Act 2010 as amended.
“Considering the letters and spirit of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria (1999 as amended), and the INEC Guidelines for 2019 General Elections, INEC is not empowered to reverse any decision taken at the Collation Center by the Returning Officer appointed for that purpose.
“Such decisions can only be reversed by a Court of law, especially when INEC cannot Approbate and Reprobate,” the party stated.
The party also accused the Festus Okoye-led committee of denying it fair hearing as its agent were not invited during the hearing to ascertain the circumstances leading to the cancellation of the Tafawa Balewa local government election result.
“No justice can be done by the committee chairman who is interested in the whole issues and the instant circumstances,” the party said.