Paul Orude Bauchi
The All Progressives Congress (APC) in Bauchi State has rejected the decision of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to reverse the cancellation of the governorship results from Tafawa Balewa Local Government Area (LGA), describing it as illegal.
Recall that the INEC’s fact-finding committee to Bauchi State to investigate the circumstances that led to the cancellation of results of Tafawa Balewa, headed by Festus Okoye, had in its report recommended that the results be re-collated and announced on Tuesday, March 19.
The committee had also recommended that the error in the total number of cancelled votes in four polling units in Ningi LGA be corrected from 25, 330 to 2,533, a difference of 22, 797 votes. But addressing a press conference on Saturday at the APC campaign office in Bauchi, the state Chairman of the APC, Alhaji Ahmad Uba Nana, stated that the party has reject the decision in totality.
He said the APC demands for a return to “status quo ante as at March 11, 2019”, adding that “the position taken by INEC is illegal, null and void, having no regards to the Electoral Act 2010 (as amended) and INEC’s guidelines for 2019 general elections.” Uba Nana alleged that the composition of the committee was questionable, alleging that its chairman, Okoye, is a close ally and ex-personal solicitor of Speaker Yakubu Dogara. He, therefore, said that justice could not be done by the committee.
He explained that the APC had on March 14, 2019, applied to INEC to cancel the results of the governorship election of Bauchi LGA on grounds of over voting, non-accreditation of voters and other electoral malpractices.
“However, INEC is yet to respond or take any action owing to our request on Bauchi LGA. It is our belief that INEC was an unbiased umpire but we are being disproved by the unfolding circumstances especially as regards the cases of Tafawa Balewa and Bauchi LGAs,” he said.
Uba Nana said that his party, “therefore reject in clear and unambiguous terms, INEC’s decision in reversing itself on the result of Tafawa Balewa as contained in the press release dated March15, 2019, and signed by Festus Okoye, the National Commissioner and Chairman of Information and Voter Education Committee; same is illegal, null and void for being contrary to the law and rule of natural justice.”
Meanwhile, the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in the state has hailed the decision of INEC to re-collate and adopt the governorship election results from Tafawa Balewa LGA. The Chairman of the party, Hamza Koshe Akuyam, who spoke with journalists in Bauchi, yesterday, praised INEC for the bold step, saying that justice has been done.