Bauchi governor to sue INEC over guber results

By AdvocateNews on 19/03/2019

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Bauchi Governor Mohammed Abubakar, has disclosed he is heading to court to challenge Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) on its decision to resume collation of results in the state ahead of supplementary elections.

He described INEC’s decision as illegal and an attempt to reverse itself in its previous decision to hold supplementary elections in the state.

The governor made the disclosure after briefing President Muhammadu Buhari on his decision.

The All Progressives Congress (APC) had rejected INEC’s decision to resume collation of results in Rivers and Bauchi states ahead of supplementary elections declared in six states.

The commission had fixed March 23 for supplementary elections after declaring the governorship elections inconclusive in Bauchi, Benue, Kano, Sokoto, Adamawa and Plateau states.

The governorship and House of Assembly elections in Rivers State were suspended due to violence.

However, INEC later said it would allow the collation of results in contentious Tafawa Balewa Local Government Area of Bauchi State instead of conducting a fresh election.

It also said it would resume collation of results in Rivers State.

Speaking to State House Correspondents at the Presidential Villa, Abubakar said: “I came to brief Mr. President about the situation in my state. I briefed him on the issues surrounding the inconclusive elections. The Returning Officer for Bauchi State at the end of collation, rejected the result of Tafawa Balewa local government and then 36 other units spread around 15 local governments of Bauchi state and ordered a rerun.

“Surprisingly, we woke up one morning and INEC came up with a procedure that is not known to law, because, where a Returning Officer has declared the result, only an election petition tribunal can reverse the result. But INEC is attempting to reverse itself in the case of Bauchi. And when one juxtapose that of Bauchi and other states with inconclusive elections, one wonders why that is happening only in Bauchi State.

“So, for that reason there is a need for me to come and brief Mr. President because that has the potential of touching on the security of the state and it is our paramount duty to secure the state.”

Asked if what is happening was illegal, the Bauchi governor said yes.

“Of course it is definitely extra illegal. It is a straight forward matter. The returning officer is the final arbiter even with respect to scores and declaration of result. And once he makes a declaration, no power can reverse that declaration except duly constituted court of the land.”

Asked what he expected President Buhari to do when INEC is an independent body, Abubakar said: “I came to brief Mr. President, I am not seeking any action of Mr. President. We all know Mr. President is a stickler for procedure. What I pointedly told him was that I’m not here to seek for you to interfere on our behalf, sir but to brief you on what is happening and what actions I have taken.

“One of which is that I am a lawyer and I am pursuing the legal angle. I briefed him and he emphasized on that legal angle that it is the best way to go.”

Asked if he was prepared for the supplementary elections, Abubakar said, “If they are going to do it now, we are ready. I don’t know who is afraid of anyone in Tafawa Balewa.” 

Posted 19/03/2019 07:27:22 AM


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