Tag Archives: Bauchi

Court refuses to stop the collation of results in Bauchi

A Federal High Court sitting in Abuja has lifted its temporary ban on the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to continue with the collation of governorship election results in Bauchi State.

This decision was taken in response to a suit filed by the candidate of the All Progressives Congress, Governor Mohammed Abubakar, asking the court to determine whether INEC has the powers to decide collation of results after the announcement of a suspension, Premium Times reports.

Lawyer to Mr Abubakar, Ahmed Raji, had approached the court seeking, an ex-parte application stoping INEC from proceeding with its decision to collate results in the state.

Clarifying an earlier decision made, following that ex-parte application, the judge, Inyang Ekwo, said there was never a time that his court granted the ex-parte application made by Mr Raji, a Senior Advocate of Nigeria.

According to the judge, what the court ordered following the earlier application is an order for parties to maintain status quo pending the determination of the suit before him.

The court also added that the submissions by Mr Raji that the tribunal could entertain an application coming from an election matter, “only after a return has been made: is a temporary situation that does not have the capacity to stand for long.”

According to the judge: “the issue at hand happened during an election. And the complaint was also made as a result of an election, subsequently,” said Mr Ekwo.

Subsequently the Mr Ekwo declined to give a pronouncement on the substantive matter and deferred his decision to allow the election tribunal make a pronouncement on the substantive matter.

The court also ruled that the order to maintain statusquo earlier granted on the matter had been lifted. Thus allowing the INEC the freedom to proceed with its decision made public in March 15.

INEC had on that date announced its resolve to proceed with the collation of results after previously declaring the Bauchi election inconclusive.

The Peoples Democratic Party won the previous election, as well as the supplementary election conducted on March 23.

INEC could however not formally declare the PDP winner because of the court action.

The PDP candidate, Bala Mohammed, was present at Monday’s court session.

Source: Premium Times

The the courts lack jurisdiction over the matter of results collation – INEC

Counsel to the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has told a Federal High Court sitting in Abuja that it lacks the jurisdiction over the matter of results collation as that fall within the purvey of the electoral process for which INEC has powers over.

The point was made as INEC, a party in the ongoing case on the collation of results announcement and inconclusiveness of the Bauchi State Guber elections.

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

The All Progressives Congress, (APC) and Bauchi State governor, Mohammed Abubakar dragged INEC to court over the Bauchi elections.

They were challenging the commission’s decision to resume collation, conclude and announce results of Tafawa Balewa Local Government Area in respect of the election to the office of governor of Bauchi State.

The APC and Mr Abubakar asked the court for a declaration that INEC, having led them to believe that there would be a supplementary election, could not go back and continue with collation of ballots that a Returning Officer had termed rejected.

They maintained that the powers of the returning officer, having declared the election inconclusive, could only be upturned by a court and not by INEC.

Addressing the court, Ahmed Raji (SAN), counsel to the APC and Mr Abubakar, submitted that INEC was wrong to have challenged the jurisdiction of the court to hear the matter and referred them to an Election Petition Tribunal.

According to Mr Raji, the only instance where an election petition tribunal was conferred with jurisdiction to hear such a matter was where a winner was announced.

“Under Section 282 of the 1999 Constitution, where a petition is filed and a return has not been made, the petition is incompetent.

“Once a return has not been made, the election petition tribunal does not have jurisdiction to entertain the matter, so there is no law to support their submission that we should have gone to the tribunal.

“Where a return has been made, the proper place is the tribunal but where a return has not been made, like in this case, where do we go,” Mr Raji wondered.

According to him, “We are questioning the administrative decision of INEC to summersault on its earlier position to conduct a supplementary election.

‘We feel that our right to fair hearing has been breached because we were preparing for an election so why the sudden change?

”This is not a post- election matter, it is more in the nature of a pre- election matter or in the middle of the election.

“The election petition tribunal has jurisdiction only when a return has been made and in this case no return has been made so if we take it to the tribunal, it will be dead on arrival.”

Mr Raji urged the court to overrule the objection of INEC noting that if it was not overruled, his client would be left with no remedy.

Counsel to INEC, Abdulazeez Inuwa insisted that the matter before the court bordered on collation of results which according to Section 133 of the Electoral Act, was part of the process of election which the court lacked jurisdiction over.

Mr Inuwa insisted that where there was an issue bordering on elections, it was the tribunal that was properly empowered by the law to handle it.

He maintained that APC and Mr Abubakar were hasty going to court adding that they should have allowed INEC to conclude the election process before going to court.

On the arguments that INEC did not consult APC and Mr Abubakar before changing its mind on the issue of a supplementary election, Mr Inuwa argued that the commission was given powers by law to conduct elections without interference.

“After the commission has concluded the process, anybody is at liberty to challenge the commission at the tribunal.

“So we are submitting with all humility that this court does not have powers to entertain any matter relating to post elections.”

Mr Inuwa urged the court to dismiss the plaintiff’s suit for lacking in merit.

Mr Ekwo commended both counsel saying that their attitude towards the case was proof that speedy trials were not only possible but practicable.

He said the matter was filed on March 18, and by March 21, counsel has adopted written addresses and judgment would be delivered on March 25.

The Federal High Court, Abuja, has fixed March 25 to deliver judgment on a suit seeking to stop the (INEC) from resuming collation or announcing result of Tafawa Balewa Local Government Area of Bauchi State.

(NAN)

“Bauchi State government want to implicate me in a criminal conspiracy” Dogara

The speaker of the house of representatives, Yakubu Dogara, has alleged that Mohammed Abubakar, governor of Bauchi state, has plans to implicate him in a criminal conspiracy.

This allegation was contained in a letter dated March 21, the speaker told Mohammed Adamu, inspector-general of Police (IGP), and Yusuf Bichi, director-general of the Department of State Services (DSS), that he has credible information of an ongoing plot to give motorbikes and cars branded in his name to some “criminals”.

Things started to fall apart for the two Bauchi politicians, Dogara and Abubakar, after the 2015 elections but their animosity worsened in the buildup to the supplementary election.

Dogara is fully behind Bala Mohammed, governorship candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), who secured the highest votes cast in the March 9 election declared inconclusive, TheCable reports.

“I write to inform the Inspector General of Police that I am in receipt of credible intelligence about an ongoing plot by Bauchi State government to implicate me in a criminal conspiracy,” Dogara said.

“The Bauchi State government has procured hundreds of motorbikes and cars which are being branded in the Government House Bauchi with my pictures and logo of my party, the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and my name inscribed.

“The plan is that the Bauchi State government will engage some criminal elements and give them the branded motorbikes and cars which they will use to commit crime and thereafter abandon them at the scene so as to implicate me.

“I am, by this letter, putting the Police and other security agencies on notice so as to be on the watch out for these criminal elements intended to be deployed by Bauchi State Government.”

Just in: INEC suspends collation of Bauchi guber poll results

The Independent National Electoral Commission  (INEC) has again suspended the collation of the governorship election in Bauchi state.

The announcement was made by Ibrahim Abdullahi, Bauchi resident electoral commissioner (REC), at a press briefing on Tuesday afternoon.

He added that the suspension was in line with a court order restraining INEC from resuming collation, TheCable reports.

Earlier a federal high court sitting in Abuja had given orders to the commission not to proceed with the exercise based on a motion filed by Mohammed Abubakar, incumbent governor and candidate of the All Progressives Congress (APC).

In his prayers, Abubakar had asked the court to compel INEC to go ahead with supplementary election it had earlier fixed for Saturday.

Abdullahi said the order did not affect the state house of assembly election, disclosing that the commission would go ahead with collation of Tafawa Balewa constituency and subsequently announce the winner.

“As you are aware, we have been indulged by members of the press as to the news that in respect of the news making the rounds in respect of Tafawa Balewa,” he said.

“So I am to inform you formally that the Independent National Electoral Commission is in receipt of a court order restraining it from proceeding with the collation and announcement of results in respect of Tafawa Balewa only.

“I’m also to add that the order which was sort and granted does not include the Tafawa Balewa constituency, hence we will make arrangements to continue with the state constituency collation and subsequently announce the results.”

In Tafawa Balewa constituency, the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) scored 40,010 votes while the PDP had 20,862 but the result was rejected because it was recorded in a replacement form without approval from the state returning officer.

The collation officer had said suspected hoodlums took away the original result sheet.

Source:TheCable



“We are watching you” – Dogara to INEC Chairman

Speaker of the house of representatives, Yakubu Dogara, says the people of Bauchi state are watching the chairman of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) and his unsubtantiable reason behind the cancellation of the Tafawa Balewa local government governorship election results in Bauchi state.

He spoke during a media briefing in Bauchi, where he said it is absurd that the electoral body would order a cancellation of the results of an election that was “conducted in a free, fair and transparent manner”, TheCable reports.

He said save for the issue of computation of the final results which was caused by the “carting away of the result sheet by agents of the sitting governor”, Mohammed Abdullahi Abubakar, who is the candidate of the All Progressives Congress (APC), the exercise was smooth.

“There was no problem at all in Tafawa Balewa. The only problem they had was the final collation. If that was the only problem, one will think that the worse decision that can be taken is for them to provide the relevant collation sheet to her (collation officer) and say go and complete the collation and bring it in the proper sheet. But in law, anybody who is a lawyer knows that the issue of form does not defeat the issue of substance,” he sad.

“Now, the substance is that there was a fair, free and credible election, which nobody is challenging. The only issue is that it wasn’t conveyed in the proper form and that can be cured and so, as it is, this election has been won and lost, no matter how you look at it and the PDP, Kauran Bauchi is, by the grace of God, the sitting governor-elect.

“As it is now, there is no problem, absolutely no problem with the votes from Tafawa Balewa. The chairman of INEC has told the world that elections begin and end at the unit. If they had cancelled any result at the level of unit collation or ward collation, it would have stood cancelled but for there to be peaceful elections, free and fair as attested to by the local government returning officer, Mrs Dominica Anosike, for there to be very peaceful, transparent collation of all the results across the eleven wards in Tafawa Balewa and the only challenge we had was that the Governor’s thugs and  boys went and invaded the local government collation centre and carted away some result sheets.

“Thereafter, the returning officer who collated it on a separate paper, and then wrote a letter, an explanatory memoranda to the state returning officer and the Resident Electoral Commissioner to say that this was the situation in which they found themselves and that was why they had to use another result sheet to do the computation.”

Dogara added that the “thugs” who invaded the local government collation centre were “identified as agents of the governor when apprehended” yet the governor will still be made the beneficiary of the action by cancelling the result in his favour.

“If you look at it carefully, the thugs that invaded the collation centre in Tafawa Balewa are agents of the governor, the sitting governor of Bauchi State,” he said

“Their names were read out, it is not a rumour, they were apprehended by the army, including the vehicle they used for the operation and they have been handed over to the police.

“Now, if they were acting for a disclosed principal, which is the governor of Bauchi State, the point is that in the law of agency which we read and it hasn’t changed, the principal is responsible for the acts of his agents.

So, if they were acting as agents of the sitting governor, will the governor now take benefit of the crimes committed by his agents? That is one big question that INEC must answer.

“Secondly, I want to say that the chairman of INEC is a citizen of Bauchi State, just like all of us and they say that charity begins at home. Will he therefore sit down in Abuja and watch or preside over this brazen rape of the mandate of Bauchi State? Will he sit down and sleep in peace when he sees that the decision of his own people here in Bauchi State is being upturned by agents of the agency over which he superintends? That is the question that Professor Mahmood Yakubu, my namesake, will have to answer and the people of Bauchi State are watching. We want to see whether he will cast his vote with the people of Bauchi State or with those who are seeking to oppress the people of Bauchi State.”

The Speaker also advised the governor to take the honourable path of conceding the election.

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