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PDP wins supplementary polls in Bauchi but process remains inconclusive
THE candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Bala Mohammed, has won Saturday’s supplementary gubernatorial election in Bauchi State, but the process remains inconclusive as voting did not hold in Tafawa Balewa Local Government Area.
The Returning Officer, Kyari Mohammed, announced the results on Sunday, saying that Mohammed polled a total of 6,376 while his opponent, Mohammed Abubakar of the All Progressives Congress (APC), got 5,117 votes.
However, no return could be made as the court is yet to decide on the issue of Tafawa Balewa LGA, where the number of cancelled votes is being contested.
Recall that after the initial election on March 9, Bala Mohammed had 469,512 votes while Mohammed Abubakar, who is the incumbent Governor, had 465,453 votes. But the election was declared inconclusive because, according to the Returning Officer, the number of cancelled votes was higher than the margin of lead between the two candidates.
But days later, the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) issued a statement saying that further scrutiny of the election results showed that the actual number of cancelled votes in Tafawa Balewa LGA was 2,533, and not 25,330 as was initially recorded.
The commission said that following the new development, collation exercise would resume in Bauchi State, instead of a supplementary election as had been initially announced by the returning officer.
This did not go down well with Governor Abubakar and the APC, and they took the matter to court, arguing that INEC has no power to overrule the pronouncement of the returning officer who had already declared the election inconclusive.
The case is currently before Justice Inyang Ekwo of the federal high court Abuja who has fixed judgement for Monday, March 25.
Meanwhile, with the result of Saturday’s supplementary election, which was held in 14 local government areas, Bala Mohammed, who was the immediate past Minister of the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), has extended his lead to 475,888 votes, while the incumbent Governor, Abubakar, has a total of 470, 570 votes.