The Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, candidate, Gwaram State Constituency in Jigawa State, Mr Zakaria Muhammad Inuwa, has expressed disappointment with the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, for issuing a Certificate of Return to his All Progressives Congress, APC, rival despite inconclusive election.
Reacting to the issuance of Certificate of Return in a statement he sent to DAILY POST, Inuwa pointed out that he had on March 20, 2023 sent a petition to the INEC headquarters, Abuja challenging the results of Gwaram State Constituency.
According to him, the petition was written after feeling that the Jigawa Resident Electoral Commissioner was going ahead to issue a Certificate of Return contrary to the relevant provisions of rules and guidelines of election, particularly as the Collation Officer had declared the results inclusive due to massive irregularities.
The irregularities, he pointed out, happened in Sara Ward polling Unit 009 with 577votes, Tsangarwa Ward, Polling Unit 001 with 1,340votes and Kila Ward polling unit 018 with 739 votes
The statement claimed that the cancellation of the units ought to have rendered the results nugatory, hence, he was shocked that Yakubu Ado Zandam of APC was issued a Certificate of Return.
The statement noted: “It was based on the cancellation of the above polling units that the Resident Electoral Officer declared the election inconclusive.
“Unfortunately, after the declaration, some political thugs were deployed by the APC leadership and were used to force the Local Government INEC Returning Officer to declare the APC’s candidate as the winner of the election which was earlier declared inconclusive.
“For this reason, it is quite clear that the Returning Officer was said to have declared the APC’s candidate winner of the election under duress which violates 2023 electoral laws.”
Reacting to the statement, the Resident Electoral Commissioner, Prof. Muhammad Bashar, told DAILY POST that he was not aware of the inconclusive declaration, neither was he in receipt of a petition challenging the Gwaram State Constituency results.
He said: “I was at the State Collation Center when Gwaram Electoral Officer and his Returning Officer came to the place and presented this result to the State collation officer.
“None of them raised the issue of intimidation or making them declare the result under duress. So what do you want me to do? At a point after the collation and declaration, there is a state collation officer.
“Two of them came to my office, and the returning officer complained to me that he was beaten but he escaped with his life. If not they would have killed him. I pray to God to give him speedy recovery.”