Information reaching DAILY NIGERIAN indicates that the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, has suspended its planned resumption of results collation in Tafawa Balewa LGA which was suspended during the March 9 governorship election in the state.
INEC Resident Electoral commissioner in Bauchi State, Ibrahim Abdullahi, while addressing newsmen, disclosed that the collation was temporarily suspended in compliance with the court order.
He, however, stated collation for the State Assembly election in the embattled Tafawa Balewa LG would still hold.
According to him, supplementary elections will still hold on Saturday in the 14 local government areas of the state.
“The Independent National Electoral Commission is in receipt of a court order restraining it from proceeding with the collation and announcement of results in respect of Tafawa Balewa governorship only.
“I must also add that the order which was sought and granted by the court does not include the Tafawa Balewa state constituency.
“For this reason, we are going to make arrangement to continue with the state constituency collation and subsequently announce the result,” said the commissioner.
DAILY NIGERIAN reports that the collation was scheduled to hold today (Tuesday) around 2:00pm in the state collation centre.
However, a Federal High Court sitting in Abuja ordered the commission to stop the collation process following a suit filled by the All Progressives Congress, APC, and its governorship candidate in the state, Governor Mohammed Abubakar, challenging the commission on the legality of the collation exercise.
Issuing the ruling on Tuesday, Justice Ekwo Ejembi gave the judgment on a suit filed on the matter.
The development is coming barely 24 hours after Abubakar visited President Muhammadu Buhari in Abuja, during which the Buhari had supported the Governor’s decision to go to court.
Recall that on Friday, INEC had said it would resume the collation of results for the local government on Tuesday after considering a report submitted by Mohammed Kyari, the INEC returning officer in the state.
This followed the disruption of the exercise at Tafawa Balewa Local Government Area which led to the cancellation of results for the entire LGA.
The electoral authority also appointed a new collation/returning officer for the LGA to conclude the collation process after Dominion Anosike withdrew over alleged threat to her life and her family.
In a statement signed by Festus Okoye, INEC commissioner in charge of Media and Publicity, said the commission, having considered a report sent by Mr Kyari, decided to proceed with the collation in the Tafawa Balewa Local Government of the state.