•Observer group faults declaration of Yusuf as Kano governor-elect
•PDP alleges plot to cancel collated results ahead Adamawa’s rerun
•Insists re-run will take place in 69 polling units
Chuks Okocha and Adedayo Akinwale in Abuja
The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), has announced that all outstanding governorship, national and state assembly supplementary elections would take place on Saturday, April 15.
But a coalition of accredited INEC Domestic Observer Group, has faulted the declaration of the candidate of the New Nigeria Peoples Party (NNPP), Alhaji Abba Yusuf, as winner of the recently held governorship election in Kano State.
This is as the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), has accused INEC of planning to cancel already collated results in the Adamawa State governorship, insisting that the supplementary elections could only take place in 69 polling units in Fufore Local Government Area of the state.
INEC National Commissioner and Chairman, Information and Voter Education Committee, Festus Okoye, in a statement yesterday recalled that 26 state governorship, 104 Senatorial, 329 Federal and 935 State constituency elections had been concluded and winners declared.
Consequently, the commission said supplementary governorship elections would be held in Adamawa and Kebbi States, five senatorial districts, 31 federal and 58 state assembly constituencies.
Okoye stressed that owing to the competitive nature of the elections, especially for legislative seats, supplementary elections would be held in just a few polling units in some constituencies.
He said, ”The Commission met today Monday 27th March 2023 and reviewed the areas,where supplementary elections are required to conclude the outstanding Governorship, National and State Assembly elections across the country.
“A comprehensive list of the polling units by State, Local Government, Registration Area, registered voters and PVCs collected will be published on our website on or before Wednesday 29th March 2023.
“Meanwhile, the Commission has fixed Saturday 15th April 2023 for the conduct of the supplementary elections in the affected polling units nationwide.”
INEC, therefore, appealed to all political parties, candidates and stakeholders to note the date and locations of the supplementary elections, adding that the earlier accreditation for polling and collation agents, observers and the media still subsists for the supplementary elections.
The Commission again urged political parties, candidates and their supporters to see the exercise as an election and not war, saying they should avoid incendiary statements and negative mobilisation so that the elections could be conducted and concluded as scheduled.
However, chairman of a coalition of accredited INEC Domestic Observer Group, Ali Abacha, in a statement, has called on INEC to examine Bimodal Voter Accreditation System (BVAS) machine deployed to verify the figures on the results sheets Form EC8As in Gwarzo, Tudun Wada, Bagwai, Dala, Fagge, local councils of Kano State.
The coalition said there were reported cases of irregularities of some state actors and non-state actors that undermined the process of election in the aforementioned local councils.
The coalition argued that there was no way the declaration of Yusuf as winner of the election would stand since the margin of lead, which was put at 128,897 votes was less than total number of cancelled votes of 273,442.
It noted that Section 65 of the Electoral Act 2022 as amended was very clear on cases like this.
In a related development, PDP National Publicity Secretary, Debo Ologunagba, at a press conference, said, the PDP had evidence of reported complicity of the Adamawa State REC Mallam Hudu Yunusa Ari, in which he was allegedly caught on tape directing the Electoral Officer of Fufore Local Government Area in Hausa Language to alter results in favour of the APC governorship candidate.
According to him, “This action by the Adamawa REC is reprehensible, sacrilegious, profane and unbecoming of an Electoral Officer. INEC should therefore immediately relieve Mallam Hudu Yunusa Ari as the State Resident Electoral Commissioner and hand him over to the Police for a thorough investigation and prosecution.
“The PDP in very strong terms cautions INEC and the APC not to, under any circumstance or guise whatsoever, tamper with the results already announced and declared at the Polling Units, where election has been concluded and returns made by the returning officers without any reported case of disruption or cancellation.
“As already declared by INEC, the final tabulation of results from the Polling Units across Adamawa State, the PDP Candidate, His Excellency, Governor Ahmadu Fintiri, is in clear lead with 31,299 lawful votes above the defeated candidate of the APC, Senator Aisha Binani, who has been desperate to compromise the election against the expressed Will of the good people of Adamawa State.
“It would be recalled that the PDP had earlier alerted Nigerians of how the APC and some compromised INEC officials attempted to move the collation of results of the Adamawa State Governorship election from Yola to Abuja to enable the INEC Returning Officer declare the defeated APC candidate the winner; a move which was firmly resisted by the people of Adamawa State.
“When that plot failed, the APC pressured INEC to cancel results in 69 Polling Units, citing overvoting but with the clandestine intention of manipulating the re-run election in favour of the APC candidate,” he said.
Ologunagba said the APC candidate has been allegedly boasting that she had the REC and Returning Officer for the election, whom she reportedly claimed were willing to manipulate the election results in her favour notwithstanding the votes by the people of Adamawa State.
“Such reported boasting by the APC candidate is in complete effrontery to the democratic right and Will of the people of Adamawa State to choose their leaders. This is evident of the arrogance, contempt and disdain to which the APC holds the people of the Adamawa State.
“It has come to the knowledge of our Party that the APC and its candidate, having realised that they cannot defeat Governor Fintiri in the 69 Polling Units, given his popularity and determination of the people, are now putting pressure on INEC to alter already collated and declared results in other Polling Units where no cases of malpractice or disruption of election took place,” Ologunagba stated