The Ningi Central Constituency member of the Bauchi State House of Assembly, Abubakar Suleiman, has been dismissed by the Court of Appeal, Abuja Division, from his position as a representative of the Ningi Local Government Area.
A rerun in ten of the constituency’s polling places was mandated by the appeal court’s Friday ruling.
Suleiman was the Conference of Speakers of State Legislatures of Nigeria’s immediate past chairman,
Professor Shuaibu Muhammad, the Returning Officer for the Independent National Electoral Commission, had pronounced him the victor of the March 18th election in the Ningi Central Constituency.
The Peoples Democratic Party’s Suleiman received 16,866 votes to defeat the All Progressives Congress’s Khalid Abdulmalik-Ningi, who received 15,065, and Danlami Bara’u, who received 4,886 votes, as the New Nigeria People’s Party’s candidate.
However, Abdulmalik-Ningi was not happy with INEC’s announcement of the election results and went to the State’s Governorship and State Assembly Election Petition Tribunal to request a remedy.
However, Suleiman’s victory for a second term in government was upheld by the Tribunal, which dismissed his case.
The APC candidate, who was dissatisfied with the verdict as well, appealed it to the Court of Appeal.
The three-member bench of the appellate court on Friday ordered a rerun and declared the tribunal’s decision to be invalid.
In the meantime, Abubakar Suleiman called the ruling a slight political setback that is nothing new in politics in a statement released by Abdul Burra, his spokeswoman.
Despite acknowledging that the verdict was unfavorable, he urged his followers to maintain composure.
“Court of Appeal’s ruling on Ningi Central Constituency: Bauchi Speaker calls for calm, confident of winning rerun,” said the statement.
“The speaker of the Bauchi State House of Assembly, Rt. Hon. Abubakar Y. Suleiman, as a member representing Ningi Central, ordered a rerun in ten polling units following the Court of Appeal ruling in Abuja today that set aside the judgment of the Election Petition Tribunal that affirmed the election of the speaker.” The speaker urges his supporters and the people of the constituency to remain calm.
He stated that even though the verdict is not in his favor, he accepts it in good faith since, as a Muslim, he believes in all possible outcomes.
“The Speaker stated he is always prepared for a rerun election to add to the nearly two thousand vote lead he gave his opponent, even though he described the ruling as a minor political setback that is not new in his political career.”
Reruns in the ten polling places that are his stronghold would be an easy win, according to Rt. Hon. Abubakar Y. Suleiman, who also questions why his opponents insisted on prolonging their agony over losing the election. Suleiman says that the support and unity he has been enjoying in Ningi remain intact and that no amount of effort to bring him down will succeed.
According to the announcement, “He said that PDP remains unbeatable in Ningi with the unprecedented infrastructural development initiated by Governor Bala Abdulkadir Muhammad in Ningi Local Government Area.”