The electoral umpire on Sunday through its National Commissioner, Information and Voter Education, Barr. Festus Okoye would say “It is null, void, and of no effect”.
A Senator representing the Adamawa North Senatorial District, Ishaku Abbo, has stated that the Electoral Act as amended in 2022 inhibits the Independent National Electoral Commission(INEC) from declaring the collation of results in Adamawa state null and void.
It should be recalled that INEC suspended the collation of the Adamawa State supplementary governorship poll despite results declared for 10 of 20 local government areas (LGAs) in the election showing Governor Ahmadu Fintiri in an early lead.
The electoral umpire on Sunday through its National Commissioner, Information and Voter Education, Barr. Festus Okoye would say, “It is null, void, and of no effect”.
However, Senator Abbo speaking on Channels Television, Sunrise Daily on Monday, maintained the electoral body’s proclamation was insignificant as backed by the electoral act.
“They cannot suspend collation,” the Senator said.
“INEC cannot nullify an election that has been announced, they don’t have that power.”
Elections have been announced, it is out of their hands. The result has been announced by the REC. Section 65 does not operate in isolation, there is section 149.
Section 149 of the Electoral Act of 2022 states that
Notwithstanding any other provisions of this Act, any defect or error arising from any actions taken by an official of the Commission in relation to any notice, form, or document made or given or other things done by the official in pursuance of the provisions of the Constitution or of this Act, or any rules made thereunder remain valid, unless otherwise challenged and declared invalid by a competent court of law or tribunal.
The Senator under the All Progressives Congress also insisted that it was futile to challenge an already announced result while accusing the opposition party in the state of electoral infractions.
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“It has already been announced, you cannot review a result that they told us. They said the reason why they have not reviewed Fufore was that it was announced.”
“Fufore elections were contentious, we prepared for a free and fair but PDP did not prepare for a free and fair election, they prepared to bypass the elections, they prepared to compromise some certain officials,” he said.
“We prepared for the elections and the elections went smoothly, with the introduction of BVAS, we all voted in line with the dictates of the electoral act and the INEC regulations.”
“Election was taken place, the election was collated. PDP sent someone when they discovered that we had 37,000 votes in favour of APC and went and snatched election results. The chairman of the local government sent someone and snatched election results and disappeared.”
Results Declared Under Duress
Senator Abbo also noted that the Returning Officer declared the result under duress from the governor and the former commissioner of police.
“They went again and computed another result when they mobilized themselves in their thousands and chased out APC supporters and moved the collation centre to a police station chased out our supporters.”
“The governor drove in the presence of the former commissioner of police to Fufore and declared the result under duress,” he said.
“They forced the electoral officer to declare the result under duress, the governor was there, the commissioner of police was there. “
The senator also lamented about brewing reports of people bypassing BVAS, and people stocking ballot boxes inside houses adding that some of his party agents were chased out in some local government areas.
“The supplementary elections went very well until the national commissioners in collaboration came from Abuja. In collaboration with the PDP, they decided to subvert the process and do a coup against the APC.”
“You cannot have a supplementary election without having the main election. It was the failure of the conclusiveness of the main elections that gave out supplementary elections. What happened in Fufore was a coup.”