Defeated governorship candidates and their parties in some states have rejected the outcome of Saturday’s elections with some vowing to seek legal action.
While some of them said they would challenge the outcome in courts, others asked the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to review the outcomes.
Daily Trust reports that the returning officer for Kano, Professor Ahmad Doko Ibrahim, had on Monday declared Abba Kabir Yusuf of the New Nigeria People’s Party (NNPP) as the winner of the election.
However, addressing a world press conference on Tuesday, the party, through its legal adviser for the state chapter, Abdul Fagge, said the INEC returning officer erred in law and acted ultra vires of the Electoral Act by distinguishing cancellations due to violence and over-voting and deciding only to consider the latter in the final consideration of the margin of lead.
Fagge said 273,442 PVCs were collected in areas where election was cancelled as a result of violence and over-voting, a figure he said meant that the margin of victory (128,897) used to declare Yusuf of the NNPP was not sufficient based on the Electoral Act.
He said it was astonishing that with the same election, 16 of the House of Assembly elections held the same day and under the same conditions were declared inconclusive by INEC.
On his part, the Leader of the House of Representatives, Alhassan Ado Doguwa, said INEC departed completely from the conditions it used to declare his own federal constituency’s election results as inconclusive.
The gubernatorial candidate of the APC in the state, Nasir Yusuf Gawuna, appealed to party supporters to continue to maintain calm in the face of provocation while condoling with families of those that lost their lives and those that have lost their properties due to the election and post-election violence.
In Borno, the NNPP candidate, Mohammed Mustapha, said he would challenge the election on the ground that his party’s name and logo were missing on the ballot paper.
Similarly, the APC in Bauchi State rejected the results of the governorship election in the state, saying, “We consider the figures that were released as totally unacceptable.”
Daily Trust reports that INEC had declared the gubernatorial candidate of the PDP and incumbent governor, Bala Mohammed as winner.
The returning officer, Professor Abdulkarim Sabo Muhammed on Monday said the PDP candidate, Bala Mohammed polled 525,280 to defeat the APC candidate, Air Marshal Sadique Baba Abubakar who scored 433,272 votes.
But addressing journalists in Bauchi yesterday, the APC gubernatorial candidate, Air Marshal Sadaque Baba Abubakar, said the election was characterised by primitive violence, thuggery, intimidation and harassment of opponents and throwing out of APC agents in many polling units across the state.
Abubakar said: “To say the least, it is very unfortunate, apart from the intimidation and harassment of APC members and agents from polling units and collation centres, we also saw the use of primitive violence in at least seven LGAs. In Warji LGA, there was violence and destruction of election materials. The video is out there for everybody to see. APC members were harassed, intimidated and attacked, which prevented many of our members from coming to cast their votes.”
“Therefore, what came from Warji was not the true reflection of what the people of Warji wanted because figures were invented, papers were written and that was what was submitted and sadly too, this submission was accepted,” Abubakar said.
He, however, appealed to his supporters to remain calm and not to take laws into their hands but allow party officials to consult with other stakeholders to decide on the next course of action.
In Taraba State, the NNPP candidate, Sani Muhammed Yahaya, rejected the governorship election results declared by INEC even as the APC candidate, Senator Emmanuel Bwacha, congratulated Agbu Kefas of PDP who was declared winner by INEC.
Yahaya, at a press conference in Jalingo, said the results were not what were actually recorded in the field. He said he won the election, but the result was manipulated.
The NNPP candidate urged his supporters to be calm and not to take law into their hands as he had already started the legal process to challenge the results declared by INEC.
In Delta State, the APC and its governorship candidate, Senator James Omo-Agege and the Young Progressive Party (YPP) presidential candidate, Sunny Ofehe, at a press conference, rejected the results of the governorship election in the state.
However, the governorship candidate of APGA, Great Ovedje Ogboru and that of the NNPP, Goodnews Agbi, congratulated the governor-elect, Sheriff Oborevwori.
A petition signed by Godwin Anaughe, director, election and strategy of APC Governorship Campaign Council, accused the returning officer of collating the results in complete breach of provisions of the Electoral Act 2022.
He said the party was disputing results from 20 local government areas.
According to him, nine local government areas are being disputed in Delta north, seven in Delta south and four in Delta Central Senatorial Districts.
On his part, the YPP candidate, comrade Sunny Ofehe described the election as mere selection where huge fraud was sadly perpetrated, saying his party had substantial evidence to expose the tremendous fraud that took place across polling units and wards in each of the 25 local government councils in the state.
In Plateau, the governorship candidate of the APC, Nentawe Yilwatda, rejected the outcome of the election.
Yilwatda disclosed this on Monday evening while addressing party supporters in Jos, alleging that the election was rigged in some areas, which he believed could be upturned by the court.
“We were sincere in our voting. We didn’t rig anywhere. In two LGAs, they gave us a difference of over 100 thousand votes. We knew it was rigged. We reported law voter turnout and yet the votes increased by over 30 per cent. How can low voter turnout become high voter turnout? We will collect our mandate. I am comfortable and strong”, Yilwatda said.
He, however, called on his supporters to remain strong and never insult anyone.
In Lagos State, Labour Party’s Gbadebo Rhodes-Vivour, said he was convinced that he won the election, vowing to go to court to challenge the declaration of Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu as the winner of the exercise.
In Akwa Ibom State, the YPP said it would challenge the results of the governorship election in which the PDP candidate, Pastor Umo Eno emerged as winner.
The secretary of the party, Kelvin Umoh, cited rigging and violence, which resulted in the death of party supporters and destruction of materials as reasons for the rejection.
In Katsina, Lado Danmarke of the PDP rejected the result and condemned the declaration, saying the party would reclaim its mandate through legal means.
In Jigawa, Mustapha Sule Lamido of the (PDP) said he would consult with the elders of the party and communicate his decision.
Meanwhile, the Labour Party’s governorship candidate in Kaduna State, Jonathan Asake, in a statement, said he was making consultations and reviewing the entire exercise and would soon make his position known to the public.
He called on his supporters to remain calm.
In the same vein, the PDP in Kaduna State rejected the declaration of the candidate of the APC, Uba Sani, as the winner of the governorship election.
The chairman of the PDP in the state, Felix Hassan Hyet, described the outcome as “daylight robbery”, alleging that INEC was complicit in denying the people of the state what they actually voted for.
Obi rejects delay in Abia, Enugu results
The presidential candidate of the Labour Party (LP), Peter Obi, has frowned at what he termed the continued delay in releasing the governorship results of Abia and Enugu states.
In a statement on Tuesday, Obi also charged the commission to accelerate their action.
Daily Trust reports that INEC on Monday suspended the collation of results in both states over pockets of violence and the invasion of one of its offices in Abia State.
According to Obi, further delay will question the commission’s intent and credibility of the election even as he urged the commission to fast track their review and quench the anxiety of Nigerians particularly citizens of the two states.
“It is disheartening that the commission is unable to resolve whatever issues that are holding the release of the results. The records of elections from polling units should not be difficult to calculate if the electoral officials are committed to the integrity of the exercise, and the stipulated guidelines,” Obi said.
Politicians must be ready to prove their cases – Lawyers
Abdulhamid Mohammed (SAN) said politicians who go to court after election must understand the special nature of such cases and the technicality of proving the case.
“Unlike matrimonial, land matters, it is sui generis, that is both criminal and civil and as such the burden of proof is always high,” he said.
Also, Nnamdi Ahaiwe, a lawyer, attributed litigations to the inability to conduct free, fair and credible elections in which the loser will be convinced they lost and feel cheated.
“It is because we simply have not gotten it right,” he said.