ABUJA – A returning officer in the February 25 National Assembly election, Professor Ibrahim Adamu Yakasal, has admitted that the result he declared was the product of duress and should be disregarded. Yakasal was the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) Returning Officer for the Tudun Wada/Doguwa House of Representative election.
Recall that the Majority Leader of the House of Representatives, Ado Doguwa was declared the winner of the Doguwa/Tudunwada constituency election on February 25 by the electoral body.
Yakasai, a professor of pharmacy at Bayero University, Kano, had previously announced that Doguwa of the All Progressives Congress (APC) polled 39,732 votes to defeat his closest rival, Yushau Salisu Abdullahi of the New Nigeria People’s Party (NNPP), who polled 34,798 votes.
Ibrahim Yakasai in a letter addressed to the INEC Chairman denounced the results he declared.
According to him, he was made to announce the sham and rigged election result under duress as his life was physically put in danger.
His letter read, “I served as the Returning Officer for the 2023 Tudun Wada/Doguwa House of Representatives elections whose results were declared by me on the 26th February, 2023.
“However, I will like to testify that the declaration made was under duress for fear of losing my life and other INEC officials who were with me. The collation area was completed under siege, threatening to burn down the INEC facility if I did not declare the result within one hour. I was completely traumatised, hopeless and confused which did not give me the stability of mind to work in accordance with the Electoral Act and election guidelines as areas or polling units where the elections were cancelled, the total number of accredited voters were not compared with margin of the scores that led to the declaration and finally the situation my colleagues and found ourselves could not give us the opportunity to attend to the complaints of non-use of BVAS in some polling units.
“I hope my statement would be kindly looked at and necessary action to be taken in accordance with section 65 of the Electoral Act 2022.”
Doguwa was later arrested by the Nigerian police and thereafter arraigned in court for electoral violence.
Meanwhile, INEC has removed the embattled lawmaker’s name from the names of House of Representatives members-elect.