The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) has tackled the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) over its decision to conduct supplementary governorship election in Bauchi state.
In a letter addressed to Mahmood Yakubu, INEC chairman, and dated March 21, the PDP said such decision contradicts provisions of the electoral act as well as the INEC guidelines for the conduct of the elections.
In the letter signed by Uche Secondus, PDP National Chairman, the party asked INEC to suspend the supplementary election pending the collation of results.
“It is important to note that rerun or supplementary election can only be ripe and determined upon conclusion of collation of all the results from the 20 local government areas in the state and the margin between the winner and runner up is known,” it read.
“This is the provision of the law as provided in the regulation and guidelines for the conduct of elections, specifically paragraphs 33 (a) and (e) and 34 (e).
“By the combined effects of the paragraphs, the commission shall wait to determine the margin of lead between the two leading candidates of the governorship election after collation of the overall results of the election before deciding to embark on the supplementary poll.
“Hence there is no basis for a supplementary election at the polling units cancelled.”
The party, therefore, demanded the “immediate suspension of the supplementary election” until collation of results from Tafawa Balewa has been concluded.
Recall that Mohammed Kyari, the returning officer of the Bauchi governorship election, had declared it inconclusive after the number of cancelled votes exceeded the margin of victory between the two leading candidates, with results from Tafawa Balewa LGA pending.
But while INEC had fixed Tuesday for collation of the remaining results, a Federal High Court in Abuja issued an order stopping the process pending the determination of a suit brought by Mohammed Abubakar, governor of the state.
However, INEC said it would proceed with the supplementary election earlier scheduled for Saturday, while awaiting the decision of the court on the collation process.