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Foreign observers berate Kano State supplementary election

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Kano state

PAN African Women Projects (PAWP), one of the accredited foreign election observers in Nigeria, has condemned the conduct of Kano supplementary election, insisting that it was characterised by large-scale irregularities and violence.

The international election observer group based in Johannesburg, South Africa, specifically accused security operatives of compromising their professional ethics and turning blind eyes on cases of violence, intimidation and abuse of electoral process in Kano.

Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) declared All Progressives Congress (APC) candidate, Governor Abdullahi Ganduje, winner of the supplementary election with 1,033,695 votes. Abba Yusuf of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) trailed with 1,024,713 votes.

Addressing a press conference yesterday, PAWP publicity secretary, Mphoentle Keitseng, cited Bagau polling unit (PU) in Kura, Masaku PU in Dala and Rimi-Gado PU where voters were chased by thugs with dangerous weapons.

Mphoentle revealed that reports gathered through PAWP agents also indicated killings, burning of property and attack on journalists and observers.
However, Kano Civil Society Forum has asked the police authorities to probe the role of DIG Michael Anthony in the election.

The group insisted that the re-run fell short of credibility.

A statement signed by the president, Ibrahim Waiya, and secretary, Peter Tijani, stressed that despite heavy security under the supervision of the DIG, the exercise was marred by violence, voter intimidation and widespread fraud.

“The Kano Civil Society Forum, having observed the conduct of the supplementary election in Kano, therefore, with no apology, faults the entire exercise and its credibility, on the basis of serious security breaches, widespread violence and thuggery, voter intimidation, killings as well as maiming, and unhealthy inducement of voters.”

Meanwhile, Justice Inyang Ekwo of the Federal High Court, Abuja, has adjourned hearing on a suit seeking to stop INEC from proceeding with the collation, conclusion and announcement of results in the March 9 governorship and House of Assembly elections in Rivers State till March 28.

Justice Ekwo had, last Friday, declined the application of Biokpomabo Awara and Ben-Gurion Peter, both of African Action Congress (AAC), to stop the collation of the results.

Yesterday, he adjourned the matter till Friday for hearing of both the ex parte application and the main suit of the plaintiffs. Respondents in the two suits include INEC and PDP.

In his ruling on the ex parte motion last week, Justice Ekwo declined to grant the prayers of the applicants on the ground that the court must hear from the respondents before taking a decision.

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