March 23: Rerun holds in Bauchi, Kano, 3 others; Adamawa out

The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has postponed the supplementary governorship election in Adamawa state earlier scheduled for tomorrow, Saturday, March 23.

The decision is in compliance with the order of a state High Court.

The electoral body said it would however hold supplementary elections in two state assembly constituencies in the state on the same day.

INEC had fixed Saturday for supplementary governorship elections in Adamawa and four other states, after declaring the elections on March in the states as inconclusive.

The four other states are Plateau, Bauchi, Kano, Sokoto.

The Nassarawa-Binueri state assembly election was deferred due to the death of the APC candidate before the election, while the Uba/Gaya state assembly election was not concluded on March 9 due to the cancellation of results in some polling units.

“So, in relation to Adamawa state, we are going to hold elections in two state constituencies,” the INEC commissioner in charge of information and voter education, Mr Festus Okoye, said.

“Notwithstanding the legal action against the supplementary (governorship) election, elections will hold in Nasarawa LGA in Myobawa constituency where the election had to be countermanded following the death of a candidate before the polls as well as the Uba/ Gaya state constituency.”

The Adamawa governorship election was declared inconclusive by the electoral commission because the margin of victory was less than the cancelled votes in the state.

Before the decision, Ahmadu Adamu Fintiri of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) was leading his closest rival, Governor Umar Bindow of the All Progressives Congress (APC).

The commission stated that the court judgement affected only the governorship election, and not the state constituency elections.

“In these constituencies, elections will hold as it has nothing to do with the action before the court.”

INEC also said it had taken steps to stop the court order barring it from holding the supplementary governorship poll.

“While the commission has also complied with the order, it has equally taken steps to vacate this and dismiss the action.”

On Bauchi

In the case of Bauchi, INECstated that it would proceed with supplementary elections tomorrow, explaining that a court order barring it from collating and announcing results only applied to Tafawa Balewa local government area of the state.

The result of Tafawa Balewa local government was not announced after the March 9 governorship election because the result sheet was initially torn to shreds by thugs.

Although the INEC official at the local government later collated the result on a separate result sheet, it was rejected at the state collation centre.

INEC said it had since generated the results from the various polling units and wards in the local government and was set to announce it.

However, the APC and its governorship candidate, Mohammed Abubakar, secured a court injunction barring INEC from proceeding to announce the result of the local government.

INEC has since said it will obey the court order.

On Thursday, INEC spokesperson, Festus Okoye, said supplementary elections earlier scheduled for Saturday will continue in other parts of Bauchi were elections were cancelled or did not hold.

The commission also said it had taken steps to vacate the court order on Tafawa Balewa local government.

The governorship candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Bala Mohammed, was leading the APC candidate before the Bauchi election was declared inconclusive.

March 25 for judgement

Meanwhile, a Federal High Court, Abuja, has fixed March 25 to deliver judgement in a suit seeking to stop INEC from resuming collation or announcing result of Tafawa Balewa local government area of Bauchi state.

Justice Inyang Ekwo fixed the date after counsel in the matter adopted their written addresses on Thursday.

The APC and Governor Abubakar had dragged INEC to court over the Bauchi elections.

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