Mohammed Abubakar, governor of Bauchi state, says he is heading to court to challenge the Independent National Electoral Commission’s (INEC) decision to resume collation of results in the state.
The election in the north-west state was declared inconclusive based on controversies in the results of Tafawa Balewa local government area.
The commission listed Bauchi among the states where supplementary election would hold but it later reversed the decision, saying the collation of results of the March 9 election will continue on Tuesday.
Speaking after meeting with President Muhammadu Buhari on Monday, the governor described INEC’s decision as illegal.
“I came to brief Mr. President about the situation in my state. I briefed him on the issues surrounding the inconclusive elections.
“The returning officer for Bauchi State at the end of collation, rejected the result of Tafawa Balewa local government and then 36 other units spread around 15 local governments of Bauchi state and ordered a rerun.
“Surprisingly, we woke up one morning and INEC came up with a procedure that is not known to law. Because, where a returning officer has declared the result, only an election petition tribunal can reverse the result. But INEC is attempting to reverse itself in the case of Bauchi. And when one juxtapose that of Bauchi and other states with inconclusive elections, one wonders why that is happening only in Bauchi state.
“So, for that reason there is a need for me to come and brief Mr. President because that has the potential of touching on the security of the state and it is our paramount duty to secure the state.”
Asked if what is happening was illegal, the Bauchi governor said, “Of course, it is definitely extra illegal. It is a straight forward matter. The returning officer is the final arbiter even with respect to scores and declaration of result. And once he makes a declaration, no power can reverse that declaration except duly constituted court of the land.
“I came to brief Mr. President, I am not seeking any action of Mr. President. We all know Mr. President, he is a stickler for procedure. What I pointedly told him was that I am not here to seek for you to interfere on our behalf, sir but to brief you on what is happening and what actions I have taken.
“One of which is that I am a lawyer and I am pursuing the legal angle. I briefed him and he emphasized on that legal angle that it is the best way to go.”
Bala Mohammed, governorship candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), is leading Abubakar in the results so far announced by INEC.