INEC suspends collation exercise in Bauchi guber election
FOLLOWING the order of the federal high court, Abuja on Tuesday, the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has suspended the planned resumption of collation of results of the Bauchi State gubernatorial election held on March 9.
This was announced by Ibrahim Abdullahi, the state’s Resident Electoral Commissioner (REC), during a press briefing shortly after the ex parte order was given on Tuesday.
He added, however, that the collation exercise for the Tafawa Balewa State constituency election will go ahead and result announced as it was not included in the order issued by the court.
“I am to inform you formally that the Independent National Electoral Commission is in receipt of a court order restraining it from proceeding with the collation and announcement of results in respect of Tafawa Balewa only,” Abdullahi said.
“I’m also to add that the order which was sort and granted does not include the Tafawa Balewa constituency, hence we will make arrangements to continue with the state constituency collation and subsequently announce the results.”
Justice Ekwo Ejembi had restrained INEC from going ahead with the planned resumption of collation of results in Bauchi, pending the determination of the issues raised by the state’s Governor, Mohammed Abubakar and his party, the All Progressives Congress (APC).
The Governor is arguing that since the returning officer had declared the election inconclusive, INEC no longer has powers to overrule that decision. Only the tribunal can overturn a pronouncement made by a returning officer in any election, Abubakar posited.
During Tuesday’s court sitting, the counsel for INEC, Tanimu Inuwa, filed a motion challenging the court’s jurisdiction to hear the matter, but the trial judge rejected the motion and fixed Wednesday, March 20, for the parties in the matter to appear before the court and state the positions on the matter.
Governor Abubakar was trailing behind the governorship candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Bala Mohammed, as at the time the election was declared inconclusive.