BY ANDY ASEMOTA, Katsina
The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) yesterday dismissed the clamour of Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and no fewer than eight accredited observer groups to declare May 20, 2017, Mashi/Dutsi Federal Constituency by-election in Katsina State inconclusive.
The spokesman of INEC in the state, Mallam A. T. Mohammed, who made this known in an interview with LEADERSHIP, said PDP and the coalition of some observers accredited by the commission were entitled to their views.
“That is their own view; their perception of the election. We (INEC) did our best. The votes in one or two or three ballot boxes that were snatched were rejected,” said Mohammed.
Briefing newsmen in Katsina, the observer groups declared: “The election was far below electoral and democratic tenets of credible elections. INEC has once again shown incompetence and partisanship by not minding the obvious fraud went ahead to quickly announce the result of the election without due consideration to the observed issues/challenges.”
In its petition to INEC commissioner in Katsina, the state chapter of PDP urged INEC “to consider the over 13,240 votes that were not cast by the voters forcefully denied their franchise to vote and declare the election inconclusive as the number of votes not cast nearly doubled the difference (about 7000) between the two top contenders.”
PDP asserted in the May 21, 2017, petition signed by Katsina State chairman, Salisu Yusuf Majigiri, that a total of 4,943 voters in Dutsi LGA and 8,868 in Mashi LGA were denied their civic responsibility by several irregularities against electoral law.