Paul Omokuvie, Bauchi
As the 9th National Assembly officially takes off on Tuesday June 11, political party candidates in Bauchi State have called on the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to respect the federal court order directing it to issue them Certificates of Return as duly elected members.
The candidates include: Garba Dahiru (PDP, Bauchi South); Auwal Jatau (PDP, Zaki Federal Constituency); Alhaji Abdulkadir Ibrahim (PDP, Alkaleri federal constituency); Dayyabu Ciroma (PRP, Darazo/ Ganjuwa federal constituency); and Isa Wabu (NNPP, Gamawa Federal Constituency).
Addressing a press conference at the NUJ Secretariat in Bauchi on Saturday, they lamented that over two weeks since the decision of the Federal High Court delivered by Hon Justice Bello Kawu, they have yet to receive their certificates of return.
Reading from a statement signed by all candidates, Garba Dahiru, who spoke on their behalf, explained that the court judgment and order was received at the INEC headquarters on May 28.
Dahiru, who ran for the Senate to represent Bauchi South, said the candidates expected the INEC to obey the court order which nullified votes scored by APC candidates, and ordered the second defendant (INEC) to issue certificates of return to the candidates.
He said: “It is on record that INEC has been respecting court orders religiously and very much upped its responsibility as an unbiased electoral umpire that has withdrawn over 64 certificates of return based on various court orders and with valid reasons to date.
“However, over two weeks now since INEC has been served with a court order, certificates of return have not been issued to us despite the fact that it is a subsisting court order and all necessary due process have been observed and complied with adequately as provided.
“We have no doubt that INEC has stayed above board and discharged its constitutional responsibilities diligently for the interest of Nigeria and Nigerians, which over time earned it the mark of integrity and excellence, more especially under the present.”