The All Progressives Congress (APC) has rejected the governorship election results announced by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) in Kano State.
The party claimed that the declaration did not conform with the Electoral Act 2022.
The state’s chairman of the APC, Abdullahi Abbas, at a press conference on Tuesday, said the APC rejected the wrongful declaration that returned Abba Kabir of the New Nigeria Peoples Party as the winner of the election by the INEC returning officer on Monday.
Mr Abbas said the APC lawyers have already written to INEC National Headquarters under Section 65 of the Electoral Act, 2022 for a review of the wrong, hasty, and unlawful decision of the returning officer and reverse and set same aside, declaring the same as inconclusive as well as an order that reruns election be conducted immediately.
INEC said the NNPP candidate polled 1,019,602 votes while the APC candidate, Mr Gawuna, polled 890,705 votes.
The returning officer, Ahmad Doko, a professor, declared Mr Kabir as the winner.
But the APC said the process was marred by irregularities.
Read the statement of the party below:
The All Progressives Congress (A.P.C.), whose candidate, His Excellency, Nasiru Yusuf Gawuna, was one of the candidates at the just concluded gubernatorial election held on 18th March 2023, for Kano State extends appreciation to the youth, women, and religious leaders, community leaders, and all our supporters for their overwhelming support during the just concluded Gubernatorial Election held in Kano state, despite immense threats by members of the New Nigeria People’s Party (N.N.P.P.).
The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) established to be an impartial body acted otherwise on 20th March when it unlawfully declared and returned Abba Kabir Yusuf of the New Nigeria People’s Party (NNPP) as the winner of the election in suspicious circumstances.
In the course of collating the final results of the election, INEC found through its respective collation officers that there were cancellations of elections in several polling units as a result of over-voting and violence across various Local Government Areas of Kano State and the number of voters in the said polling units who have collected their permanent voter’s card (PVC) is 273,442 voters, which number is more than twice the margin of lead between the two main contenders in the election which is just 128,897.
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The Returning Officer in connivance with the Resident Electoral Commissioner (REC) instead of declaring the said Governorship Election for Kano State as inconclusive, went ahead to declare Abba Kabir Yusuf as the
winner. In so doing, the Returning Officer mysteriously went into seclusion for about two hours and after surfacing, mischievously came up with the idea that all the votes cancelled as a result of violence should not be counted while managing the margin of lead principle.
He relied on item 2 of the Table contained on page 93 of the Manual for Election Officials, 2023 even though the Returning Officer was instantly cautioned and guided not to misapply item 2 in the circumstances, that it is rather an item 6 that should be applied because the election materials were deployed and the election commenced during the process, there was violence that disrupted the process and Forms EC40G series were respectively filled at the affected polling units. Surprisingly, the Returning Officer insisted and misapplied item 2 despite all caution.
The action of the Returning Officer has therefore disenfranchised the 273,442 persons who have collected their PVCs and are ready to cast their votes at the various
affected polling units. The declaration made by Returning Officer is contrary to the combined provisions of Sections 24, and 51 of the Electoral Act, 2022, Article 62 of the INEC Regulations and Guidelines for the Conduct of Election, 2022, and items 4.2.16, Note 32 on page 84 and item 6 of the Table at page 93 of the Manual for Election Officials, 2023 which made it mandatory that whenever the disenfranchised voters who have collected their permanent voter’s card (PVC) outweigh the margin of lead between the candidates with the highest number of valid votes cast and his runner up, the commission will declare the said election as inconclusive and order for a rerun election at a further date.
This is the best electoral practice already established and followed by the Commission in several states both at the Presidential and National Assembly elections held on 25th February 2023 as well as the just concluded Governorship and State House of Assembly elections held on 18th March 2023, in line with the dictate of the law, impartiality and respect for due process and the rule of law.
Specifically, 16 of the Houses of Assembly elections were held on the same date, same venue, same process, and same
circumstances with the Governorship election have been declared inconclusive by INEC.
It invariably follows that whatever violence, cancellation, and inclusion that befalls the House of Assembly election also befalls the governorship election.
We have also earlier written a Petition in respect of two wards of Rogo Local Government on clear election
malpractice and fabrication of votes. As of 3 pm on 18th March 2023, election materials were not deployed and INEC announced that the election has been postponed and voters returned to their various homes. Astonishingly, election materials were later deployed and stuffed with votes for the NNPP. The Returning Officer turned blind
eyes and ignored this petition, including acting on the fabricated votes.
We, therefore condemn in strong terms and vehemently reject the wrongful declaration and return of Abba Kabir Yusuf as the winner of the election by the Returning Officer. Based on the foregoing, our lawyers have already written to INEC National Headquarters under Section 65 of the
Electoral Act, 2022 for review of the wrong, hasty, and unlawful decision of the Returning Officer and reverse and set same aside, declare same as inconclusive as well as order that reruns election be conducted immediately.
This way electoral justice will be done and seen to have been done. In the meantime, the party appeals to its teaming members and supporters to remain calm and peaceful in the face of the vandalization, arson, and wanton destruction of the properties of the APC and its supporters by the Chieftains of the NNPP and their members in broad daylight. Long live All Progressives Congress (APC), Kano State, and Nigeria.
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