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Court of Appeal Sacks Bauchi Deputy Speaker, Orders Rerun in Polling Units

The Court of Appeal, Abuja Division, has removed the Deputy Speaker of the Bauchi State House of Assembly, Jamilu Barade, and ordered a rerun in certain polling units. This decision comes shortly after the court had similarly sacked the Speaker of the state assembly, Abubakar Suleiman, as a member representing the Ningi Central Constituency.

In the latest judgment delivered on Monday, the three-man panel of the appellate court set aside the ruling of the Bauchi State House of Assembly Election Petitions Tribunal. The tribunal had earlier affirmed Barade’s election as the duly elected member representing Bauchi Central State constituency.

The All Progressives Congress (APC) candidate, who contested the election against Barade, filed a petition at the tribunal, alleging overvoting in nine polling units. Despite the tribunal’s dismissal of the petition, the APC candidate pursued the case on appeal, which resulted in a favorable judgment ordering a rerun in specific polling units.

The court directed the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to retrieve the Certificate of Return issued to the Deputy Speaker and conduct rerun elections in the affected polling units before determining the eventual winner.

Additionally, the Appeal Court also nullified the election of the member representing Zungur/Galambi/Miri Constituency, Yusuf Ahmed, also of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), and ordered a rerun in certain polling units.

The Bauchi State INEC office stated that it had not received the court order but expressed readiness for the rerun within the stipulated time. The APC’s counsel welcomed the judgment, asserting that it indicated flaws in the 2023 elections in the state.

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