The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has declared the governorship election in Adamawa State inconclusive.
This is coming moments after it declared that the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) defeated the All Progressive Congress (APC) to clinch victory at the state governorship election held on Saturday.
The announcement saw Jibrila Bindow, the state governor and APC candidate, seeking a second term in office losing his re-election bid to Ahmadu Fintiri, candidate of the PDP in the election.
The result announced by the INEC showed that Mr Fintiri polled 367,471 votes to emerge the winner. The governor, Mr Bindow, polled 334,995 votes to come second.
The returning officer for the election, Andrew Haruna, a professor, said while the state has 1,973,083 registered voters, 894, 481 voters were accredited for the governorship election.
The state is the home of Atiku Abubakar, the 2019 presidential candidate of the PDP who lost his long-desired ambition to President Muhammadu Buhari.
Although Mr Abubakar won in the state, Mr Buhari defeated him with over 4 million votes. The PDP presidential candidate has gone to the judiciary in a bid to retrieve his ‘alleged’ mandate.
Stating why it declared the election inconclusive, the electoral body said the declaration was necessitated by the margin of votes between the two top candidates which is lesser than total votes voided in about 40 polling units.
It said about 40,988 votes were cancelled in 44 polling units across the state. Mr Haruna cited INEC laws that led to his action.
“In page 17 paragraph C of the Regulations and Guidelines for the Conduct of Elections on the margin of lead principle state that where the margin of lead between the two leading candidates in an election is not in excess of the total number of voters registered in polling units where elections are not counted or voided, in line with Section 26 and 53 of Electoral Act, the Returning officer shall decline to make a return until votes have taken place in the affected polling units and the results collated in to the relevant forms for declaration and return,” he said.
“This is the margin of lead principle and shall apply wherever necessary in making returns in all elections to which this Regulations and Guidelines apply.
“Looking at the total number of votes which has been harvested from the total number of voters registered in the 44 Polling Units, in the 29 Registration Areas, the Margin of Lead Principle should apply.
“And, therefore, I declare this exercise inconclusive,” he said adding that a new date will be fixed for the conclusion of the exercise.