Dominion Anosike, the collation officer of Tafawa Balewa Local Government Area in Bauchi State during last Saturday’s governorship election has written to the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) asking to be allowed to testify about what led to the cancellation of the results from the local government.
The result from Tafawa Balewa was rejected by the state’s returning officer, Muhammed Kyari, because it was not recorded on the official return sheet. Mrs Anosike, a lecturer at the federal polytechnic in Bauchi, had explained that thugs snatched the authentic result sheet after they disrupted the collation process at the local government level.
But Mr Kyari argued that Mrs Anosike did not seek his approval as required by INEC’s guideline before inputting the result in another form; thus he could not accept the result.
In a letter to the chairman of INEC, Mahmood Yakubu, dated March 13, 2019, Mrs Anosike said she was ready to testify to an investigative committee set up by the electoral commission to review what happened during the collation. She, however, said she would be only available to give her testimony in the Abuja as she has been “threatened with instant death” if she was found in or around Bauchi.
“I superintended over the above election in Tafawa Balewa LGA as the Returning Officer and I believe that there will be need for your committee to find out from me what transpired at the collation centre that led to the cancellation of the result by the Resident Electoral Commissioner for Bauchi State,” she wrote.
“The purpose of this letter to your good offices, is to indicate my desire to appear before the team in another location, preferably Abuja- as doing that in Bauchi State would constitute a threat to my life, as I have already been threatened with instant death, should I be found anywhere in or near Bauchi State.”
Though INEC is yet to officially announce the outcome of its investigation, PREMIUM TIMES reports that the commission intends to regenerate the result from the local government using duplicate result sheets from polling units and wards in the area.
INEC has fixed March 23 for supplementary elections in some polling units in Bauchi to conclude the governorship election that was declared inconclusive. Similar supplementary elections are to be held in Adamawa, Benue, Kano, Plateau and Sokoto.
Before the declaration of the Bauchi governorship as inconclusive, the candidate of the opposition Peoples Democratic Party was leading the incumbent APC governor with 469,512 votes to 465,453 votes.