Seven hours after the Bauchi State Resident Electoral Commissioner blamed the delay in commencing collation of the supplementary election results on the absence of the State Returning Officer (RO), Muhammed Kyari, the top INEC ad-hoc staff is still yet to show up.
Mr Kyari, a professor and the Vice Chancellor of Modibo Adama University of Technology, Yola, according to State REC, left Yola 9 p.m. on Saturday to the collation centre in Bauchi.
The distance between Bauchi and Yola is 309km which takes about six hours for a normal trip.
But as the day broke at the Bauchi collation centre, it turned out that the State REC may have lied to journalists and the stranded local government collation officers when he said the State RO was on his way.
As at the time of filing this report, even the REC was no longer within the premises of INEC where the collation centre is located.
There is no clarity on the true state of things concerning the collation of Bauchi supplementary election results.
What is clear for now is that there are disturbing rumours that Mr Kyari has backed out of the national assignment. PREMIUM TIMES has not independently verified this.
It was also being rumoured that both the REC and the State RO were under immense pressure, from undisclosed powers that be to alter the outcome of the supplementary elections to favour the incumbent. This too has not been verified by PREMIUM TIMES.
The collation centre is for now almost empty as journalists and even local government returning officers leave the INEC premises for their homes.