After court clearance, INEC begins final collation of Bauchi election results

Women jubilating
Women jubilating

The final collation of the Bauchi State Governorship Election results is to commence as officials of the Independent National Election Commission (INEC) are about completing the regeneration of results from Tafawa Balewa local government area.

INEC annulled results from Tafawa Balewa due to mutilation of the results on Form EC8A at the local government collation centre.

The electoral body later reversed its decision and declared that the Tafawa Balewa results would be regenerated from the wards.

The governor of Bauchi state, Muhammed Abubakar, challenged the decision in court, urging the commission to instead go ahead with a supplementary poll.

A temporary restriction on the process was lifted Monday by the court, paving the way for INEC to complete its collation and announcement of winner.

With the court decision, INEC immediately resumed regenerating results from the 11 wards of Tafawa Balewa LGA.

As at 4.40pm, the Resident Electoral Commissioner, Ibrahim Abdullahi, told PREMIUM TIMES that all was set for the final declaration of the Bauchi State Governorship Election.

According to the REC, “As soon as the regeneration process is completed and entered into Form EC8A which has been retrieved from the central bank, the state collation centre will open for the final collation and declaration.”

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He Sections 6 and 7 of the INEC guidelines for the 2019 general elections, empowers a REC, in any case of mutilation of results, to order the local government collation officer to regerate results using form EC8B.

He said what went wrong in Tafawa Balewa two weeks ago was that, after the result sheet was destroyed, the local government collation officer entered the results on Form EC8B without the approval of the REC.

The INEC office in Bauchi is now busy as security officials, domestic observers, party agents and journalists are gathered outside the governorship collation centre which is still locked and guarded by armed police and DSS officers.

Outside the INEC collation centre, thousands of jubilant residents who are supporters of the PDP Governorship candidate, Bala Muhammed, are singing and cheering.

Mr Muhammed is leading in the results so far announced and is likely to emerge winner.

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