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, describing the decision 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 Barrister 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 local government area be corrected from 25, 330 to 2,533, a difference of 22, 797 votes.
But addressing a press conference on Saturday night at the APC campaign office in Bauchi, the Chairman of the APC in the state, Alhaji Ahmad, Uba Nana, stated that the party rejected in totality, the reversal.
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, insisting that the chairman, Okoye, is a close ally and ex-personal solicitor to Speaker Yakubu Dogara, expressing concern that justice could not be done by the committee.
The chairman explained that the APC had on March 14, 2019, applied to INEC to cancel the results of the governorship election of Bauchi local government on the grounds of over voting, non-accreditation of voters and other electoral malpractices.
“However, INEC is yet to respond or take any action on our request on Bauchi local government. 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 local government areas,” he said.
Uba Nana said that his party, “therefore rejects in clear and unambiguous terms, INEC’s decision in reversing itself on the result of Tafawa Balewa as contained in the press release dated March 15, 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 People’s Democratic Party (PDP) in the state has hailed the decision of INEC to re-collate and adopt the governorship election results from Tafawa Balewa local government area.
The Chairman of the party, Hamza, Koshe Akuyam, who spoke to journalist in Bauchi on Saturday, praised INEC for the bold step saying that justice had been done as they cried foul and the electoral body responded positively.
Akuyam who lambasted the security agencies for allowing the problem in Tafawa Balewa to degenerate, alleged that they knew what happened when hoodlums went to the collation centre and disrupted the process.
“We were surprised that even the paper that the police usually hold were also vandalised. Can you imagine someone going to the police station to vandalise the paper? So we don’t have confidence in the
Commissioner of Police and the Director SSS because they are another set of MA Abubakar.”