INEC, APC smuggled unsigned ballot papers -PDP Niger North Senatorial candidate alleges
The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) and the All Progressives Congress (APC), were alleged to have smuggled unsigned ballot papers to declare the former governor Abubakar Sani Bello as Senator for the Niger North Senatorial District
at the February 25, National Assembly election.
This was disclosed by Alhaji Shehu Abdullahi, the Niger North Senatorial Candidate of the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) shortly after he testified at the National Assembly Elections Petition Tribunal (EPT) sitting in Minna.
He stated that he petitioned both the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC), and Abubakar Sani Bello to challenge the conduct of the February 25 National Assembly Election at the Tribunal.
He explained that over 30,000 unsigned and unstamped ballot papers were thump printed by the INEC during the conduct of the election to declare Abubakar Sani Bello as the Senator. This he said was his reason for approaching the tribunal to nullify the election of former governor Sani Bello and to declare him the rightful winner of the election.
He said that in his petition he told the tribunal that he was elected by majority votes in accordance to the Electoral Act therefore the tribunal should nullify the election and return him as the rightful winner of the February 25 National Assembly Elections as Senator of Niger North Senatorial District.
According to him, going by the Electoral Act, he was duly elected by the majority of the voters in his Constituency, adding that he approached the tribunal with all the necessary evidences to nullify the election and return him as the duly elected senator.
"The invalid result sheets which, intentionally, the Independent Electoral Commission and All Progressives Congress and the contestant used and collate as well as compute results to return him as the winner of the election is wrong.
"That was our reason for approaching the court to challenge the decision of INEC. There were almost about 27,000 to 30,000 votes that were put in the result sheet.
" And these results were not signed. The result was not stamped. And any result sheet that does not carry INEC stamp and is not signed is invalid. In this case, INEC connived with the APC and put it. So that is why we approached the court" he told Journalists in an interview after the sitting of the tribunal Wednesday.
Alhaji Shehu Abdullahi said he was optimistic that the tribunal will unanimously declare him as the rightful winner of the February 25 National Assembly Elections.
" My expectations from the tribunal is nothing but victory from the decision of the tribunal going by the electoral act. " Because in my petition, I have presented all the necessary facts and evidences to the tribunal and by the grace of Allah victory will be on my side,” he asserted.
Meanwhile, the counsels to all the respondents told the panel of the tribunal led by Justice Angela Otaluka, that they will not present any witness as they told the tribunal to give a date for them to respond through a written address to close their case. Justice Angela Otaluka then adjourned to 3rd July 2023.