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3 parties challenge Bala’s victory at election tribunal

Samuel Luka, Bauchi

Three political parties have filed separate petitions before the Bauchi state Governorship Election Petition Tribunal challenging the election of Sen. Bala Muhammad Abdulkadir of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) as governor-elect of the state in the last governorship election.

Our correspondent gathered that the parties, include the Action Peoples Party (APP), Peoples Democratic Movement (PDM) and the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC).

All the three parties are asking the tribunal to nullify the governorship victory of the former FCT minister as announced by the electoral body due to alleged non-compliance or substantial non-compliance with the Electoral Act 2010 as amended.

The APP said in their petition that they validly sponsored Alhaji Gumi Umaru and Sani Umaru as the state governorship and deputy governorship candidate for the just concluded governorship election, but that on election day majority of the party’s supporters were disheartened when they realized that the electoral body unlawfully rejected their candidate.

The party said it initially submitted the name of Kabiru Isiyaku as its governorship candidate and within the time frame of substitution Kabiru wrote a letter to the electoral body, indicating his interest not to contest for the office and as a result the party validly substituted his name with that of Gumi.

According to the APP, the electoral body unlawfully excluded their candidate from the ballot paper, therefore, it asked the tribunal to nullify the entire election and order for the conduct of a fresh election into the office of the governor of Bauchi state in which their candidate will be accommodated.

On its part, the Peoples Democratic Movement (PDM) also, accused the electoral body of excluding their candidate and the logo of the party in the ballot paper, election materials and all other documents used in the just concluded governorship election in the state.

PDM alleged that its candidate, Ahmed Iliyasu had filled all the forms required by law and submitted same to the electoral body, but was unlawfully excluded by the electoral body.

The party prayed the tribunal to nullify the entire election and order for a fresh one into the office of the governor within 90 days from the date the tribunal nullifies the election.

The All Progressives Congress (APC) and its flagbearer, Mohammed Abdullahi Abubakar said in their petition that they had examined all the necessary documents related to the election and wants the tribunal to declare him as winner of the election or order for the conduct of fresh election in Bogoro, Tafawa Balewa and Bauchi Local Government Areas.

Counsel to the Sen. Bala Mohammed, Mukhtar Usman said they have been served with the three petitions, disclosing that his client will respond to the three petitioners and expressed confidence that they have adequate answers that will satisfy the tribunal.

It would be recalled that the PDP candidate, Sen. Bala Mohammed won the election with 515, 113 votes as against his closest rival, incumbent Governor Mohammed Abdullahi of the APC who polled 500 ,325 votes.