The Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, on Wednesday alleged that the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, allocated votes to Governor Abdullahi Sule of the All Progressives Congress, APC, during the 2023 governorship election in Nasarawa state.
In a statement by Ibrahim Hamza, PDP spokesperson in the state, said INEC owed the citizens of Nasarawa clarifications on how it arrived at the number of votes allocated to the incumbent governor.
In the statement, Mr Hamza recalled that the majority judgment of the Nasarawa State Governorship Election Petition Tribunal invalidated the declaration of Mr Sule by INEC as the winner of the election.
The tribunal also declared the candidate of the PDP, David Ombugadu as the winner of the election, and directed INEC to issue him with a Certificate of Return.
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Mr Hamza said as a believer in democratic principles, the PDP recognised the right of Mr Sule to appeal the majority judgment of the tribunal.
He, however, stressed that it was crucial for INEC to clarify the alleged discrepancy in the vote count during the election.
According to him, the discrepancy in the vote count was also manifest in the minority judgment of the tribunal which was in favour of the governor.
It will be recalled that INEC, in March 2023, claimed that Mr Sule won the governorship election with 347,209 votes and it allocated 283,016 votes to Mr Ombugadu of the PDP.
“But in his minority judgment, Hon. Justice Ibrahim Mashi ruled that Sule scored only 295,402 votes as against the inflated votes of 347,209 freely given to him by INEC.
“The same minority judgment said Ombugadu scored 291, 603 as against the suppressed votes of 283,016 allocated to him by INEC.
“The question begging for answer is where did INEC get the 51,807 votes margin it generously allocated to AA Sule and returned him as the elected governor of Nasarawa State based on the ruling of the same minority judgment?.”
Speaking further, the PDP noted that the appeal filed by the governor lacked substance and hence would not stand.