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Abuja court sacks Bauchi speaker, orders re-run

The Court of Appeal sitting in Abuja Division has sacked the Speaker of the Bauchi State House of Assembly, Abubakar Suleiman, from his seat as the member representing Ningi Central Constituency in Ningi Local Government Area of Bauchi State.


The appellate court in its judgment on Friday, ordered for a rerun in 10 polling units in the constituency.


The PUNCH reported that Suleiman, a member of the Peoples Democratic Party, is the immediate past Chairman of the Conference of Speakers of State Legislatures of Nigeria.


Recall that, the Independent National Electoral Commission’s Returning Officer, Professor Shuaibu Muhammad, had declared him the winner of the Ningi Central Constituency election held on March 18.


Suleiman polled 16, 866 votes to defeat his closest rival, Khalid Abdulmalik-Ningi of the All Progressives Congress, who scored 15, 065 votes while the candidate of the New Nigeria People’s Party, Danlami Bara’u scored 4,886 votes.


But not satisfied with INEC’s declaration of the results of the election, Abdulmalik-Ningi, approached the Governorship and State Assembly Election Petition Tribunal sitting in the State to seek redress.


But the Tribunal dismissed his case and affirmed the victory of Suleiman for a second term in office.


Following the judgment, the APC candidate went to the Court of Appeal to challenge the tribunal’s ruling.


In its judgment on Friday, the appellate court’s three-man panel, set aside the judgment of the tribunal and ordered for a rerun.


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


Although he said that the judgment was unfavourable, he, however, 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’.


“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 urges 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 read.

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