The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has appointed a new Collation/Returning Officer for Tafawa Balewa Local Government to continue and conclude the collation process in the guber poll, in place of the original Collation Officer, who withdrew from the exercise citing threats to her life and those of her family members.
Consequently, the collation process for the local council will resume on March 19, 2019, which means INEC will no longer conduct a re-run in Bauchi, as earlier scheduled, but continue with collation of results.
The commission directed that the error in the total number of cancelled votes in four polling units in Ningi Local Government Area should be corrected from 25,330 to 2,533.
INEC national commissioner, Festus Okoye, said halfway into the Local Government collation, armed gangs attacked the collation centre and destroyed the Local Government Result Sheet (EC8C) and some collated results from the Registration Areas.
The results of seven out of 11 Registration Areas for Governorship and six out of 11 for State Assembly elections were thus affected. INEC guidelines provide that where violent disruption affects collation in this manner, results should be regenerated from duplicate copies on a replacement result sheet.
Accordingly, the Collation Officer, under pressure from party agents, who could not wait for the arrival of a replacement result sheet, decided to collate the result on an available RA result sheet, instead of the replacement LGA result sheet.
Okoye said when the result was presented at the State Governorship Collation Centre, the Returning Officer rejected the regenerated result because it was on a wrong result sheet. INEC investigation Committee into the Bauchi poll established that the results in polling units and Registration Areas are available and in safe custody.