The Governor of Bauchi State, Mohammed Abubakar, on Monday disclosed what he discussed with President Muhammadu Buhari at the meeting over the decision of the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, to cancel the proposed supplementary election in Bauchi State.
Bauchi was one of the six states INEC said would hold a supplementary to determine the winner of the governorship election held on March 9.
Like other states, the supplementary election was to hold on March 23, 2019.
But in a sudden move, INEC said the supplementary would no longer hold in Bauchi stating that it had found out that election had been concluded in the state and there were copies of results.
The fact finding committee set up by INEC on the case was headed by the National Commissioner for Information and Voter Education, Festus Okoye.
But shortly after meeting the president on Monday, Abubakar disclosed that the action of INEC was illegal and he had decided to go to court over the case.
His words: “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.”
He said it was surprising that INEC could cancel the idea of a supplementary election where the Returning Officer had 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 juxtaposes 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.”