Governor Mohammed Abdullahi Abubakar of Bauchi state said Monday he is heading to court to challenge decision of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to resume collation of results in the state.
Addressing State House correspondents after a meeting with President Muhammadu Buhari, the governor said INEC’s decision to resume collation of results in the state was illegal and an attempt to reverse itself.
“I came to brief Mr. President about the situation in my state. I briefed him on the issues surrounding the inconclusive elections. The Returning Officer for Bauchi State at the end of collation, rejected the result of Tafawa Balewa local government and then 36 other units spread around 15 local governments of Bauchi state and ordered a rerun.
“Surprisingly, we woke up one morning and INEC came up with a procedure that is not known to law. Because, where a Returning Officer has declared the result, only an election petition tribunal can reverse the result. But INEC is attempting to reverse itself in the case of Bauchi.
“And when one juxtapose that of Bauchi and other states with inconclusive elections, one wonders why that is happening only in Bauchi State. So, for that reason there is a need for me to come and brief Mr. President because that has the potential of touching on the security of the state and it is our paramount duty to secure the state,” he said.
Asked what he expected from the president to do when INEC is an independent body, the governor said: “No no no. I said I came to brief Mr. President, I am not seeking any action of Mr. President. We all know Mr. President, he is a stickler for procedure. What I pointedly told him was that I am not here to seek for you to interfere on our behalf, but to brief you on what is happening and what actions I have taken. One of which is that I am a lawyer, and I am pursuing the legal angle. I briefed him and he emphasised on that legal angle that it is the best way to go.”
The All Progressives Congress (APC) had also rejected INEC’s decision to resume collation of results in Rivers and Bauchi states ahead of the supplementary elections the commission fixed for March 23, 2019, in Bauchi, Benue, Kano, Sokoto, Adamawa and Plateau states.