Segun Awofadeji in Bauchi
Bauchi State chapter of All Progressive Congress (APC) has on Friday filed a petition at the election Tribunal in the state challenging the outcome of the recent governorship election in which its candidate Mohammed Abubakar who is the incumbent governor lost to Peoples Democratic Party(PDP)’s Bala Mohammed.
Speaking with newsmen shortly after submitting the petition at the tribunal, the state APC Chairman, Uba Nana said they were there to formally table their complaint against the election and seek justice.
According to him, “We are here to file a suit on behalf of the APC challenging the results of the Governorship election in Bauchi State held some weeks ago.
“What we want is Justice, as always, from the Court because we know that the Court will do just that,” he said.
It would be recalled that the outgoing governor earlier conceded defeat and congratulated the governor elect but later said that the national leadership of the party asked him to go to court.
This is so after spending over one week in Abuja lobbying and making consultations in the Presidency and the national leadership of the APC, Governor Abubakar made a U-turn and said that his party had agreed to go to court to reclaim his mandate from the PDP.
The Governor who addressed his supporters at his Campaign office said he had earlier accepted his defeat as “destiny” but disclosed that he met with President Muhammadu Buhari and the leadership of the party which informed him that they would file a suit soon to challenge the election.
He said: “The reason for my going to Abuja, in my capacity as a loyal and obedient party member, I went and met with the National Chairman of the APC, I met with the Vice President of Nigeria, I also met with the President of Nigeria.
“Just like I have said, I am an obedient member of the national body of the party, it was because of this, that all these three places that I went to, each one of them said that the APC will file a suit in court to challenge the election results of Bauchi.
“As an obedient member, I accept to go with that decision. Everyone knows when the results of the election were announced, I conceded defeat but I contested on the ticket of the party and the party has refused to accept the outcome.”
Abubakar added that it was because of that development he was addressing his supporters to inform them that “the party had concluded its plans and has hired four Senior Advocates of Nigeria (SANs) to file this suit in court in a short while from now.”
The governor said he was a party loyalist and as such is in support of its new decision.
He noted that the party had hired four Senior Advocate of Nigeria (SANs) to file the case saying he was hopeful that he would triumph in court.
In their reaction, the Peoples Democratic Party(PDP) alleged that the litigation initiated by the outgoing governor was only meant to waste government resources boasting that court will reaffirm its victory.
State Publicity Secretary of the party who reacted to the development in an interview with our correspondent on phone said it was ridiculous for the governor to allege that he was rigged out when he ‘was the one with incumbency power and has control of security agents’.
He claimed that the election in all the local governments of the state was violent free adding that even in areas where results were cancelled, supplementary election was conducted by INEC where their candidate won again.
“ Just like we won the case filed by the governor at federal high court in Abuja against the results of Tafawa Balewa local government, we will win again in tribunal”.
“ We are ready to defend our mandate and over 50 independent lawyers have indicated intention to defend us in any court “. He stated.