The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) has challenged the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) over its decision to conduct supplementary governorship election in Bauchi state while all results have not been collated.
In a letter addressed to INEC chairman Mahmood Yakubu, dated March 21 and signed by Prince Uche Secondus and Secretary of the party, Senator Ibrahim Umar Tsuari, PDP said such decision contradicted provisions of the electoral act as well as the INEC guidelines for the conduct of the elections.
INEC returning officer in Bauchi governorship election, Mohammed Kyari, had declared the election inconclusive after the number of cancelled votes exceeded the margin of victory between the two leading candidates, with results from Tafawa Balewa LGA pending.
However, while INEC fixed last 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.
In the letter signed by PDP Chairman, the party asked INEC to suspend the supplementary election pending the collation of results.
The letter read: “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.
“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 demanded for “immediate suspension of the supplementary election” until collation of results from Tafawa Balewa has been concluded.