POLITICS

Tribunal: INEC Owes Nasarawa Residents Clarifications On How It Arrived At Sule’s Votes- PDP

 

The Peoples Democratic Party, Nasarawa State, has quizzed the Independent National Electoral Commission over votes allocated to the state governor, Abdullahi Sule of the All Progressives Congress during the 2023 governorship election in the state.

The PDP also noted that while it respected the right of the governor to appeal the tribunal judgment which declared its candidate, David Ombugadu, as the winner of the governorship election, it needed clarifications from INEC over the votes allocated to Sule.

Nasarawa PDP, in a statement signed by its spokesperson, Ibrahim Hamza, noted that INEC owes citizens of the state clarifications on how it arrived at the number of votes allocated to the incumbent.

“As firm believers in our democratic process, we respect the right of AA Sule to appeal the judgment of the Governorship Election Petitions Tribunal, which nullified his declaration as governor by the Independent National Electoral Commission and returned Dr. David Ombugadu as the duly elected governor of Nasarawa State.

“However, it is crucial to clarify the reasons behind this appeal, especially concerning the alleged discrepancy in the vote count. Whereas AA Sule celebrated and accepted the declaration by INEC that he won the Nasarawa governorship election with 347,209 votes, he is now banking on the minority judgment of the Election Petitions Tribunal, which gave him 295,402 votes as the basis for his appeal.”

The statement read in parts, “It will be recalled that INEC, in March 2023, claimed that AA Sule won the governorship election with 347,209 votes and it allocated 283,016 votes to Dr. Ombugadu of the PDP.

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“But in his minority judgment, Hon. Justice Ibrahim Mashi ruled that AA Sule scored only 295,402 votes as against the inflated votes of 347,209 freely given to him by INEC. The same minority judgment said  Ombugadu scored 291, 603 as against the suppressed votes of 283,016 allocated to him by INEC.

“The question begging for answer is where did INEC get the 51,807 votes margin it generously allocated to AA Sule and returned him as the elected governor of Nasarawa State based on the ruling of the same minority judgment?.”

Speaking further, the PDP noted that the appeal filed by the governor lacked substance and hence would not stand.

“INEC, as the body responsible for overseeing our elections, holds a sacred duty to ensure that the will of the people is accurately represented. Any irregularities or discrepancies in the vote count must be thoroughly investigated to maintain the trust of the electorate and uphold the principles of democracy.

“In the instant case, neither INEC nor Sule is to be believed as shown by the majority judgment of the tribunal, which verified the total number of 293,287 votes cast in favour of Dr. Ombugadu of the PDP as against the 283,016 votes allocated to him by INEC. The Tribunal also verified and affirmed that AA Sule actually scored only 292,446 votes and not the inflated votes of 347,209 allocated to him by INEC.

“While it is the right of every citizen to seek legal recourse, we believe it is essential to address the lack of substantive grounds required to warrant the appeal of the tribunal’s ruling, which will ultimately lead to its dismissal by the appeal court.

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“We are sure that any appeal filed by AA Sule will lack substantial grounds to challenge the results of the election, as the people of Nasarawa State across all tribes and religions overwhelmingly voted for Dr. Ombugadu in the governorship election.”

 

By Okunade Kehinde 

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