INEC has declared APC winner of Bauchi South senatorial district election.
The party scored 250,725 votes against PDP’s candidate, Garba Dahiru who scored 175,527 votes.
INEC, however, did not recognise Senator Lawal Yahaya Gumau as APC’s candidate in the election as his name was not mentioned by the Returning Officer, Professor Sarki Ahmed Fagam, while announcing the results; a development which raised some questions.
Explaining the reason after the announcement of results, the state Resident Electoral Commissioner (REC), Ibrahim Abdullahi, said it was the APC that won in the election and not the candidate.
According to him, the APC leaders did not comply with a court order which directed them to replace Gumau who had been disqualified.
The REC, therefore, maintained that it was the APC that contested in the election since it did not present a replacement as directed.
“What I am saying is there is a subsisting court judgement on the party, which is the platform on which the other candidates contested. We called on the party to send a replacement which is why he (Gumau) cannot be returned in person. We don’t have provision for independent candidate.
“If he wants to contest, he must contest on a platform. Since he has been disqualified by court, and the court has directed the party to send a replacement, there is no way we can declare or return the candidate that was originally fielded. That is the explanation,” he said.
Contacted, the Organising Secretary of APC in Bauchi State, Lawan Gyan-Gyan, refused to comment saying he had no legal expertise.
It could be recalled that Senator Gumau and Barr. Ibrahim Zailani had been laying claim to the senatorial ticket before the elections.
Sen. Gumau, a former member of the House of Representatives representing Toro Federal Constituency, contested and won the Bauchi South Senate seat in a by-election held in 2018 after the death of Senator Ali Wakili.
During the APC’s primaries ahead of the general elections, Sen. Gumau contested alongside other candidates and was announced and reportedly won.
However, Barr. Zailani, who also vied for the ticket, went to court where he challenged the outcome of the primaries.
A Federal High Court in Abuja directed INEC to withdraw the candidature of Sen. Gumau and replace him with Barr. Zailani.
However, Senator Gumau’s legal team in their response declared that the said judgement cannot stand.
The team led by Barr. Shipi Rabo argued that the judgement was given in default on Feb. 12, 2019 in the absence of Senator Gumau and without him being put on notice of the whole proceedings.
“Already, an appeal was immediately filed on Feb. 13 alongside a motion for stay of execution and other injunctive reliefs,” the lawyer stated.