The Bauchi State Chapter of the All Progressives Congress (APC) has alleged that the fact-finding committee sent by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to probe the irregularities in the governorship election denied the party fair hearing.
“The fact-finding Committee chaired by Festus Okoye, the National Commissioner and Chairman of Information and Voter Education Committee denied a fair hearing to APC as a political party whose agents were not invited during a hearing of the facts leading to the cancellation of the Results of Tafawa Balewa LGA. Any decision taken in violation of fair hearing is illegal, null and void,” said Alhaji Uba Nana, the state chairman of the party, at a press conference in Bauchi on Saturday.
INEC had announced on Friday night that a new returning officer will resume the collation of the Bauchi governorship election results on Tuesday. The commission also amended the cancelled results from four polling units in Ningi local government, from 25,330 to 2,533. The decision meant that the commission will announce the winner of the election thereafter.
APC has not taken the decision lightly.
- It alleged that the Committee Chairman, Festus Okoye Esq, is a close ally and former solicitor to Hon. Yakubu Dogara of the Peoples’ Democratic Party (PDP). The party said that this was proven by the fact that PDP and Yakubu Dogara on Facebook pre-empted the outcome of the Committee’s finding before formal publication by INEC.
- The APC alleged that the PDP candidate had filed a court suit seeking to reverse the cancellation of the Tafawa Balewa results but the court refused to grant it. “Now INEC has granted what was refused by the Court of law in the interest of justice,” he said.
- Nana said the party rejected in totality, the report of the fact-finding Committee on the disruption of collation process at Tafawa Balewa and the subsequent decision of INEC to reverse its earlier resolution cancelling the entire results of Tafawa Balewa LGA. He described INEC’s decision as illegal, null and void.
Bottom Line: Clearly by the time results are finally collated and announced, the APC candidate and incumbent governor, Mohammadu Abubakar, would lose. It is a big blow for the APC in a state that voted overwhelmingly for the party in the presidential election, and is another proof that all politics is local. We’ll expect the APC to challenge the win in court when it is announced.