Chairman of the Gombe State Independent Electoral Commission (GOSIEC), Mr. Caleb Maina has announced the results of the Local Government elections held in the State where the Peoples’ Democratic Party (PDP) swept all the eleven chairmanship seats as well as all the 114 councillorship seats.
The election and the result however remain controversial because a coalition of opposition political parties in the State led by the All Progressives Congress (APC) roundly condemned the exercise as a complete sham.
Briefing newsmen before the announcement of the results, the Coalition of Opposition Political Parties called on the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) to immediately commence the investigation of GOSIEC for failure to conduct the Local Council election on Saturday February 25, 2017.
The election, according to the Coalition’s spokesman and Acting Chairman of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Alhaji Idi Barde Gubana, was never held as there was never a release of election materials as well as casting of votes after the PDP led Gombe State Government expended millions of naira on the election.
Alhaji Idi Barde said, “it is needless to inform you that the Gombe state Government has voted millions of naira specifically for the conduct of this election and now that election has not been conducted, we call upon the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) to investigate the whereabouts of these monies and to prosecute anybody found to have misappropriated the public funds meant for the council election.
“The coalition of political parties call upon GOSIEC to immediately refund all monies collected from candidates for the purpose of participating in the Local Government election since there was no election anywhere in the State. We paid no less than N25 million non refundable fees for all our candidates in the APC alone”.
GOSIEC was said to have collected N500, 000; N250, 000 and N150, 000 for candidates seeking election to the position of the eleven Chairmanship seats, their deputies as well as the 114 councillorship positions of the State.
But announcing the results Sunday afternoon, chairman of the Commission, Mr. Caleb Maina said “following the receipt of the results of the election as returned and declared by the wards returning officers of the 114 wards in all the Local Government Areas of Gombe State, in accordance with section 26 sub-section 1-2 of Gombe State Independent Electoral Commission Law 2013 as amended, as the Chief Returning Officer of the Commission,” he was empowered by law to announce the results.
He then read out the entire results of the election which indicated that PDP won all the eleven Chairmanship positions as well as the 114 councillorship seats in the State defeating all the APC candidates who contestants in all the Chairmanship and Councillorship elections.