…It’s a Party Affairs – Gov. Bello Spokesperson
….Come to the Office – NSIEC Chairman Says
On the 12th of March 2020, the Local Government Election Petition Tribunal sitting in Minna, nullified the election of Hon. Hussaini Ladan of APC as council chairman of Suleja, and ordered that Adamu A. Usman of the PDP be immediately issued a certificate of return and inaugurated.
In their judgment, the three Tribunal Judges said, “on the whole we agree with the petitioners that at the time of the Chairmanship election of Suleja local Government the 1st respondent had no recognizable vice Chairman.
The violation of the section 33 & 36 of the electoral act 2010 (as amended and paragraph 3(m) of the NSIEC guidelines for 2019 local government election by the 2nd respondent has vitiated the nomination of the Chairman Hon. Zakari Isah as held in PDP & Others V Biobarakuma Degi-Ermienyo & Ors (Supra) and we so hold”.
They therefore ordered the the return of Adamu Usman of PDP as winner of the 30th November, 2019 Suleja Loca Government Chairmanship election.
Also the Tribunal ordered The State Independent Electoral Commission to issue Adamu Usman with a Certificate of Return.
The Tribunal’s Judgment was appealed in two different suits and all were dismissed on the 24th April, and 15th June, all in 2020.
All local government election matters terminates at the appeal panel.
Since then, The Niger State Independent Electoral Commission (NSIEC) has continue to play hide and seek, refusing to issue Adamu Usman (Banaga) of PDP with a certificate of return.
The NSIEC Chairman, Aminu Baba Alhaji on phone said “Please come to the commission meet the secretary, he will give you whatever information is you want”.
Secretary to the Commission Habibu Bobbi promised to call back, until time of going to press he didn’t call call back and more calls to his phone number rang out with no answer.
Spokesperson to Governor Abubakar Sani Bello of Niger State, Mary Noel Berje said “As far as I am concerned it’s a party affairs”.
It will be recalled that a pre-election suit in the case of Magama LGA Chairmanship won by the PDP candidate suffered similar fate, until a high court had to order NSIEC officials to be committed to prison if they failed to issue the winner a certificate of return, 4 months after, before the court order was obeyed.
At a point the local Government was without a council chairman for weeks.
The Niger State Independent Electoral commission (NSIEC) is developing notoriety for such acts that undermine legally organized system.
On November 30th 2019, the Niger State Local Government Elections held, the returning officer for Tafa LGA disappeared with some election results, the people surrounded the LGA collation center for 7 days, the state NSIEC later appeared a week after with a result amidst heavy security back up to announce such results.
Observers say it is not surprising as the Commission’s Chairman, Aminu Baba Alhaji was a Senatorial candidate of the CPC which later merged to form APC.