INEC Replaces Bauchi Collation/Returning Officer; To Resume Elections On Tuesday

The Independent National Electoral Commission says it will resume elections in Bauchi State on March 19, 2019.

The commission also says it will replace the collation/returning officer for Tarawa Balewa Local Government Area (LGA) in the state.

Mrs. Dominion Anosike, the Returning Officer for Tafawa Balewa Local Government Area in the governorship election, had written to Professor Mahmood Yakubu, the INEC Chairman, requesting to appear before the Committee set up to investigate what led to the cancellation of the results of the election,over threat to her life.

According to INEC, a report on the electoral process in the state was considered on March 12, 2019, which detailed the disruption of the process at the Tafawa Balewa collation centre, which led to the cancellation of results for the entire LGA.

A statement issued on Friday by Festus Okoye, Chairman, Information and Voter Education Committee of INEC, noted that committee was set up by the commission to investigate the incident.
The Investigation Committee came out with the following findings:

“That Governorship and State Assembly elections were held on 9th March, 2019, in Tafawa Balewa Local Government Area and the votes scored by candidates were announced at the polling units and collated at the 11 registration areas of the local governments.

“Halfway into the Local Government collation, armed gangs attacked the collation centre and destroyed the Local Government Result Sheet (EC8C) and some collated results from the registration areas. The results for seven out of 11 registration areas for governorship, and six out of 11 for state assembly elections were affected.

“INEC guidelines provide that where violent disruption affects collation in this manner, results should be regenerated from duplicate copies on a replacement result sheet.

“The collation officer, under pressure from party agents who could not wait for the arrival of the replacement result sheet, decided to collate the result on an available RA result sheet, instead of the replacement LGA result sheet.

“When the result was presented at the state governorship collation centre, the Returning Officer rejected the regenerated result because it was on a wrong result sheet.

“The investigation committee established that the result for polling units and registration areas are available and in safe custody.

“The Investigation Committee also established that the number of cancelled votes for the four polling units in Ningi Local Government Area, which was recorded as 25,330 in form EC40G (1) was incorrect. The actual figure is 2,553.”

The commission, thereafter, resolved to conclude the election as the results for Tafawa Balewa LGA are available. It also approved the replacement of the collation/returning officer for the LGA.

The elections for Bauchi State would resume on Tuesday, February 19, 2019.

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