By Friday Idachaba, Lokoja
AFRICAN Democratic Party (ADC) in Kogi state has called on INEC to declare it’s candidate, Arch. Salman Idris, winner of Saturday National Assembly Election for Kabba-Bunu/Ijumu Federal Constituency having polled the highest number of valid votes in the contest.
Comrade John Udale Adaji, Acting State chairman of ADC in the state who made the appeal at a press conference in Lokoja.
He particularly called on the INEC Chairman, Prof. Mahmud Yakubu to prevail on the Returning Officer, Dr Ahmed Baba having announced the results, to declare the winner of the election.
Adaji held that the exercise which was successfully conducted in the Federal Constituency on Saturday expressed the decision of the people who willing gave their mandate to the winner of the election.
He said that result validly obtained with copies of evident of result signed by the Returning Officer, party agents and security officers but winner was yet to be declared more 48 hours after.
“To our dismay the Returning Officer of the election Dr Ahmed Baba after endorsing and authenticating the result has refused to declare a winner in an election where the candidate of my party the African Democratic Congress (ADC) Arch. Salman Idris scored the highest votes.
“We found it expedient to come out and cry to Prof. Yakubu to direct the Returning Officer to go back to the field and declare the result of the election in the interest of peace and fairness” he said.
The Acting Kogi State Chairman of ADC expressed disappointment over the conduct of the Returning Officer, who was later said to have declared the election inconclusive adding that the act contravened section 51 of the Electoral Law, 2022 as amended.
“We gathered that four units were cancelled for over voting and violence and by Section 51 of the Electoral Law, any election cancelled for whatever reason remains cancelled.
“The over-voting and violence which led to the cancellation of results in the four units in the constituency also affected the Presidential Election and declaration was made. So what happened in our case that declaration was not made?”, he queried”, he said.
Hon. Mubeen Musa, one of the ADC stakeholders at the Press Conference also urged INEC to urgently do the needful.
“We are appealing to the chairman of INEC, Prof. Mahmud Yakubu, to as a matter of urgency direct Dr Baba Ahmed to do the needful by declaring the candidate of ADC who has actually won the election having scored the highest valid votes”, he said.
Reacting to the allegation, the candidate of the All Progressive Congress (APC) Kolawole Matthew refuted the claim by the African Democractic Congress (ADC) that INEC issued duly signed result sheet for Kabba-Bunu/Ijumu Federal Constituency.
Kolawole said the declaration of the election as “inconclusive” was as a result of the cancellation of results from the polling units where violence and over voting took place.
He said that the ADC candidate was circulating fake result sheets, adding, “Results were cancelled in two other polling units due to over-voting which were not collated by INEC in line with the Electoral Act, and everybody agreed to it.
He urged the ADC to approach INEC to argue their case rather than heating up the polity with their “fake results”.