Protest Letter to INEC Chairman: We Reject Declaration of Kabba-Bunu/Ijumu Reps Election Inclusive

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An Open Letter to the Chairman of Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), Professor Yakubu Mahmood, on the ‘’INCONCLUSIVE’’ Status of Kabba/Bunu/Ijumu Federal House of Representatives Election Held on 25TH February 2023.

Permit me to congratulate you on the successful conduct of the February 2023 general elections that was held across the Federation. You would recall that one of the elections that was successfully conducted was the Kabba/Bunu/Ijumu Federal House of Representatives (FHoR) across the two Local Government Areas aforementioned.

However, this open letter is intended to register our displeasure and rejection of INEC declaration of the election as ‘’inconclusive’’ by the returning officer (R.O), Dr Adams Baba.

For the records, Architect Salman Idris of the African Democratic Congress (ADC) contested the election among other party candidates and scored a total of 13,867 votes which was the highest votes scored in that election. The second candidate of the All Peoples Congress (APC) Mr Matthew Kolawole had a total of 13, 605 votes. The RO duly signed the INEC collation/result sheet as well as other party agents with security agents like the Police, DSS and NSCDC. Thereafter, rather than declaring Arc. Salman Idris as the winner of the election having satisfied the requirement of the law by scoring the highest votes cast, the RO disappeared into thin air without announcing the winner of the election as the law requires of him.

Amazingly and later on, a story surfaced that the RO had declared the election inconclusive. It would interest you Sir that this declaration is not only laughable but capable of precipitating or activating a sinister and inauspicious tendencies to manipulate the outcome of the already concluded election.

We are aware that the justification attached to this unfortunate declaration by Dr Adams Baba was that there was over voting at Iyah polling unit of Otu ward in Kabba LGA and violence at Open space polling unit at Egbeda ward of Ijumu LGA.

This twin development at the two polling units had led to the cancellation of the results emanating from there as it is in tandem and adherent to the Electoral Act as amended in section 51 which provides that ‘’where the number of votes cast at an election in any polling unit exceeds the number of accredited voters in that polling unit the presiding officer SHALL cancel the result of the election in that polling unit’’.

Cancellation of results as a result of over voting or violence was something that happened across the Federation in this general election that was just concluded and the appropriate corresponding decision against them as required by law is cancellation.

Dear Prof Mahmood, under your watch and leadership, all the reported cases of polling units with records of violence and over voting in this February general elections were cancelled without any form of re-run and as such had no effect on the final results that determined winners. One then wonders why Dr Adams was trying to create another separate, unknown, and unrecognised guideline to determine the winner of election in the Kogi State Kabba/Bunu/Ijumu Federal House of Representatives election.

This is unacceptable by us as it is capable of undermining the confidence that INEC should build in the minds of Nigerians that it is capable of conducting free, fair and credible election that reflects the will of the people and that is devoid of any iota of suspicion and inclination for manipulations.

It is worthy of note that despite cancellation of the election of the said polling units, a visit to the INEC IReV revealed that a polling unit result was actually uploaded on the Iyah Unit of the Otu ward of the LGA of the APC candidate Mr Kolawole Matthew while that of Egbeda ward in the LGA of our candidate Arc. Salma Idris has an upload of ‘’cancellation’’ notice. (Evidence attached).

What does this connote?

Psychologically, with all intents and purpose, one could easily deduce that there are attempts and connivance by some persons with Dr Adams to utterly subvert, and pervert the will of the good people of the constituency to ensure that the winner of the election, Arc. Salman Idris does not emerge.   

While we are aware that our candidate, Arc. Salman Idris and indeed the party ADC have channelled all their complaints to your office formally and through various press conferences, we want to implore you sir that you should use your good office to call the Kogi State REC to immediately without further delay direct the RO to announce the winner of the Kabba/Bunu/Ijumu Federal House of Representatives election, Arc. Salma Idris, who scored the highest votes of 13,867.

While thanking you in anticipation of prompt and positive response kindly accept the highest and warmest regards of our support group for Arc. Salman Idris.

Aaron Ayodele
Arc. Salman Support Group (ASSG)

Attached Evidence

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