Abuja Court Sacks Bauchi Speaker, Orders Rerun

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The Speaker of the Bauchi State House of Assembly, Abubakar Suleiman, has been removed from his position as the representative of Ningi Central Constituency in Ningi Local Government Area of Bauchi State by the Court of Appeal, Abuja Division.

Bellnews reports that the court has directed a rerun in 10 polling units within the constituency. Suleiman is the immediate past Chairman of the Conference of Speakers of State Legislatures of Nigeria.

On March 18th, the Returning Officer of the Independent National Electoral Commission, Professor Shuaibu Muhammad, declared Suleiman, a member of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), as the winner of the Ningi Central Constituency election. Suleiman secured victory with 16,866 votes, defeating his closest rival, Khalid Abdulmalik-Ningi of the All Progressives Congress, who received 15,065 votes.

The New Nigeria People’s Party candidate, Danlami Bara’u, scored 4,886 votes. However, Abdulmalik-Ningi was dissatisfied with the election results and approached the Governorship and State Assembly Election Petition Tribunal for redress.

Unfortunately for him, the Tribunal dismissed his case and upheld Suleiman’s victory for a second term in office. Unsatisfied with the tribunal’s ruling, Abdulmalik-Ningi took his case to the Court of Appeal. On Friday, the appellate court’s three-man panel overturned the tribunal’s judgment and ordered a rerun.

Meanwhile, in a statement by his spokesperson, Abdul Burra, Abubakar Suleiman described the judgment as a minor political setback that is not new to politics.

Although he said that the judgment was unfavourable, he called on his supporters to remain calm. The statement was entitled: ‘Court of Appeal’s ruling on Ningi Central Constituency: Bauchi Speaker calls for calm, confident of winning rerun’.

It reads: “Following the Court of Appeal ruling in Abuja today that set aside the judgment of the Election Petition Tribunal that affirmed the election of Speaker of Bauchi State House of Assembly Rt. Hon. Abubakar Y. Suleiman, as a member representing Ningi Central, ordered a rerun in ten polling units, the speaker urged his supporters and all people of the constituency to remain calm.

“He said that although the judgment is unfavourable, as a Muslim, he believes in all fates, thus, he accepts the judgment in good faith.

“While describing the judgment as a minor political setback which is not new in his political career, the Speaker said that he is ever ready for the rerun election to add to the almost two thousand votes margin he gave his opponent.

“Rt. Hon. Abubakar Y Suleiman states that the support and solidarity he has been enjoying in Ningi remain intact and no amount of effort to pull him down will succeed, adds that conducting a rerun in ten polling units that are his stronghold is just like a walkover, wondering why his opponents insisted on extending their pain of election defeat.

“He said that with the unprecedented infrastructural development initiated by Governor Bala Abdulkadir Muhammad in Ningi Local Government Area, PDP remains unbeatable in Ningi,” the statement added.

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