Gov. Mohammed Abubakar of Bauchi State on Monday said President Muhammadu Buhari had endorsed his decision to seek legal redress over the cancellation of re-run election in the state.
Abubakar, stated this when he briefed State House correspondents after a closed door meeting with President Buhari at the Presidential Villa, Abuja, on Monday.
The Independent National Electoral Commission had on Friday decided to resume the collation of the governorship election result in Bauchi State and may declare the winner of the poll, hitherto ruled as inconclusive.
The governor, however, disclosed that he briefed the president on the issues surrounding the inconclusive elections in Bauchi state and its security implications.
Abubakar, who stated that he was not in the presidential villa to seek President Buhari’s intervention, however, said the President emphasised that pursuing the legal angle was the best way to go.
“No, no. I said I came to brief Mr President. I am not seeking any action of Mr President.
“We all know Mr President, he is a stickler for procedure. What I pointedly told him was that I am not here to ask you to interfere on our behalf sir, but to brief you on what is happening and what actions I have taken’.’’
He opined that it was wrong for the electoral umpire not to conduct the planned re-run election in Bauchi state.
“I briefed him on the issues surrounding the inconclusive elections, the Returning Officer for Bauchi State at the end of collation, rejected the result of Tafawa Balewa local government and then 36 other units spread around 15 local governments of Bauchi state and ordered a rerun.
“Surprisingly, we woke up one morning and the electoral commission came up with a procedure that is not known to law.
“Because, where a Returning Officer has declared the result, only an election petition tribunal can reverse the result.
“But INEC is attempting to reverse itself in the case of Bauchi. And when one juxtaposes that of Bauchi and other states with inconclusive elections, one wonders why that is happening only in Bauchi State.
“So, for that reason there is a need for me to come and brief Mr President because what has the potential of touching on the security of the state,’’ he said.
He further stated that the returning officer was the final arbiter with respect to scores and declaration of result.
“Of course it is definitely extra illegal. It is a straight forward matter. The returning officer is the final arbiter even with respect to scores and declaration of result.
“And once he makes a declaration, no power can reverse that declaration except duly constituted court of the land,’’ he further explained. (NAN)