By Haruna Salami
The Kaduna State Chapter of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP has written to the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC reminding the Commission of its provision in the INEC Regulations and Guidelines in declaring election results.
The letter which was signed by the PDP State Collation agent, Danjuma Bello Sarki and addressed to the Resident Electoral Commissioner in Kaduna State on Monday was at the backdrop of confusion trailing the collation of results of the governorship and State House of Assemblies election conducted on Saturday March 18, 2023 with a winner yet to be declared 78 hours after in Kaduna State.
Governorship election in Kaduna State has been keenly contested between Senator Uba Sani of the ruling All Progressives Congress, APC, Hon. Isah Asiru Kudan of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, New Nigeria Peoples Party, NNPP and others.
The opposition PDP insisted on observance of “the provision of Paragraph 82 of INEC Regulations and Guidelines for the conduct of elections, 2022 and to be guided by same in the discharge of your duties as Returning Officer of the Governorship Election in Kaduna State, especially as it relates to the Declaration of the Winner of the Election”.
Copy of the letter which was made available to journalists on Monday read: “I hereby write as Returning Officer of the Peoples Democratic Party for the Governorship Election in Kaduna State to draw your attention to the provision of Paragraph 82 of INEC Regulations and Guidelines for the conduct of elections, 2022 and to be guided by same in the discharge of your duties as Returning Officer of the Governorship Election in Kaduna State, especially as it relates to the Declaration of the Winner of the Election.
“Section 82 where the margin of lead between the two leading candidates is less than the total number of PVCs collected in the Polling units (s) where election was held or was cancelled in line with Sections 24(2 and amp; 3), 47(3) and 51(2) of the Electoral Act 2022 the Returning Officer shall decline to make a return until polls have taken place in the affected Polling Unit(s) and the results incorporated into new Form EC8D and subsequently recorded into Form EC8E for Declaration and Return”.
The letter further cited the celebrated case of GIDADO & ANOR V. MOHAMMED & ORS (2015) LPELR – 40356 to insisted on the strict observance of the guidelines before declaring Kaduna election results.
The letter further cites: “Where the margin of win between the two leading candidates is not in excess of the total number of registered voter of the polling unit(s) where election was cancelled or not held, decline to make a return until another poll has taken place in the affected polling unit(s) and the result incorporated into the new form EC 8C (1) and subsequently recorded into form EC 8E (1) FOR Declaration and Return.
“I have earlier indicated in this Judgment that the margin of votes between the 1st Appellant and the 1st respondent is 488 votes the total number of registered voters in the 4(four) polling units where elections were cancelled is 1,365 registered voters.
“The circumstance as presented by the scenario come within Paragraph 46 (5) of the approved guidelines and regulation for the conduct of 2015 general election for which the 3rd respondent should invoke its powers to hold a re-run election in those units…”
PDP claimed massive cancellation of election results conducted in many polling units of Kaduna State particularly in Kudan Local Government where the election result in two Wards of Garu and Kauran Wali North Wards were not entered in the collated Governorship election result for the Kudan Local Government Council.