The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has taken a surprising action against a member of the ruling All Progressives Congress, APC, that was initially declared winner of an election in the 2019 general elections.
The electoral umpire turned back and has withdrawn its recognition of AbdulRahman Sulaiman Kawu Sumaila as winner of the election in House of Representatives Member-Elect for Sumaila/Takai Federal Constituency in Kano State.
Also, INEC instead issued Certificate of Return to Mohammed Shamsuddeen Dambazau as the House of Representatives Member-Elect for Sumaila/Takai Federal Constituency in Kano State on the platform of the APC.
According to Daily Trust, INEC had earlier issued the certificate to AbdulRahman Sulaiman Kawu Sumaila, a former aide to President Muhammadu Buhari.
But Dambazau, son of the Minister of Interior, Abdulrahman Bello Dambazau, sued INEC, APC and Sumaila, challenging the recognition of Sumaila as the candidate of the party.
He contended that Sumaila never participated in the House of Representatives primary election of the APC. On April 18, 2019, a Federal High Court in Kano disqualified Sumaila as the duly elected Member of the House of Representatives on the platform of the APC in the February 23, 2019, general elections.
The court also ordered INEC to recognise Dambazau as the duly elected member representing Sumaila/Takai Federal Constituency. Issuing the certificate of return to Dambazau on Monday, INEC National Commissioner, Amina Zakari, said the issuance of the certificate was on the order of the court.
Sumaila may still appeal the verdict of the court if he feels dissatisfied.
In another development, the Publicity Secretary of the All Progressives Congress (APC) in Abia State, Comrade Benedict Godson, has vowed that the party leadership was undeterred in its avowed commitment and determination to recover what he termed “stolen mandate,” which he claimed, was allegedly carried out by the ruling Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in the state.
Godson, who made the party’s position known in a press conference with select journalists in Umuahia, on Wednesday, berated the PDP for allegedly perpetrating excessive rigging in the just concluded 2019 general elections in the state.
It was reported that Governor Okezie Ikpeazu of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, was declared the winner of the 2019 gubernatorial election in Abia State.
Ikpeazu polled the total number of 261,127 to defeat Uche Ogah of the All Progressives Congress, APC, and Alex Otti of the All Progressives Grand Alliance, APGA. He was declared winner by the INEC Returning Officer, Prof. Benjamin Ozumba.
Godson, however, explained, “APC candidates that were robbed of their mandate, I can assure you, we are going to recover the mandates. Because, there were a lot of frauds during the just concluded election by our brothers in PDP. It is obvious and open that irregularities marred the exercise. “Let me make a reference with when former Governor, and current senator representing Abia central zone, Theodore Orji during the national assembly election, went to visit INEC REC in the state. I raised an alarm, granted series of news interview to draw the attention of every Abian, in the interference of the electoral processes by the ex-Abia governor.”
He continued, “The former Governor’s response when asked on his visit to INEC REC, Dr. Joseph Iloh , he said he(Orji)went there (INEC office) to report over late and missing of the electoral materials. By right, he is not the appropriate person to report to. Because, there is senatorial INEC coordinator before getting to INEC top echelons. And i can tell you, the election was an open stealing, the ruling PDP did in Abia State.
“We (APC) are going to retrieve our stolen mandate from the failed PDP government. Our rightful mandate which we won. For example, somebody like Hon. Nwabueze Onwuneme, who contested for House of Assembly to represent Umuahia north constituency and that of Umuahia East constituency, Mr. Austin Okezie Meregini.”
The APC spokesman added, “The ruling party robbed the duo of the mandate freely given to them by the electorates. They won the elections. We have more than 10 of our candidates that won the last election, but, were manipulated. We will reclaim those stolen mandate.”
The controversy over the election continues as Governor Ikpeazu plans for inauguration for second term in office on May 29, 2019. The APC may go on to challenge Ikpeazu and PDP’s victory in court with evidence to prove its case as it claimed that the elections were rigged.
What are your thoughts on this story?