Uche Secondus, National Chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), has said there is no basis for the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to conduct a supplementary governorship election in Bauchi State on Saturday.
Secondus stated his party’s position in a letter which he addressed to Mahmood Yakubu, INEC Chairman, and dated March 21.
According to the PDP Chairman, a supplementary election cannot be conducted when the collation of results of the initial election held on March 9, has not been concluded.
The decision of INEC, he said, contradicts paragraphs 33 (a) and (e) and 34 (e) of the guidelines for the 2019 general elections.
The letter read: “It is important to note that rerun or supplementary election can only be ripe and determined upon conclusion of collation of all the results from the 20 local government areas in the state and the margin between the winner and runner up is known.
“This is the provision of the law as provided in the regulation and guidelines for the conduct of elections, specifically paragraphs 33 (a) and (e) and 34 (e).
“By the combined effects of the paragraphs, the commission shall wait to determine the margin of lead between the two leading candidates of the governorship election after collation of the overall results of the election before deciding to embark on the supplementary poll. Hence there is no basis for a supplementary election at the polling units cancelled.”
Secondus, therefore, called on INEC to ensure the “immediate suspension of the supplementary election” until collation of results from Tafawa Balewa Local Government Area has been concluded.
A Federal High Court in Abuja on Tuesday ordered INEC to stop its planned resumption of collation and announcement of the result of Tafawa Balewa LGA in the state.
Justice Inyang Ekwo gave the order while ruling on an ex-parte application filed by the All Progressive Congress (APC) and the Governor of Bauchi state, Mohammed Abubakar.
The judge ruled that the exercise should be stopped pending the determination of the substantive suit.
The APC and Abubakar are asking the court for a declaration that INEC cannot review what a collation officer has cancelled.
They are also insisting that INEC, having made a pronouncement for a supplementary election, cannot go back on it.
Justice Ekwo on Thursday fixed March 25, to deliver judgment on the suit.