By Hassan Zaggi
In compliance with the ruling of the justices of the Court of Appeal in Jos on April 4, 2019, the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), yesterday issued the certificate of return to the winner of the Billiri East constituency in the Gombe State House of Assembly, Hon. Rambi Ibrahim Ayala.
The certificate of return was issued by the INEC Chairman, Prof Mahmood Yakubu, who was represented by the Commissioner in charge Gombe, Bauchi, Yobe, Mr. Baba Shetima Arfo.
Responding to questions from journalists after he received the certificate of return, Hon. Rambi Ibrahim Ayala, explained that after the primary election of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) on October 4, 2018, he was declared the winner but that the nomination form was given to his opponent- Rabi Daniel.
According to him: “After the primary election of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) which was conducted in October 4, 2018, I was declared the winner in our constituency and while I was waiting for the INEC nomination form from the party which was issued on October 18, incidentally, I was so surprised that one of my opponents was given the nomination form by the PDP instead of me.
“On 19th, I wrote the national chairman of PDP seeking that justice should be done and when I did not hear anything from the party, in keeping with the constitution I now headed to the Federal High Court.
“Strangely enough, my opponent did not file a defence at the Federal High Court and the court dismissed my suit.
“ I then went on appeal at the Court of Appeal in Jos, and graciously the Justices of the Court on April 4, gave unanimous judgment on my favour restoring back the mandate of the people.
“As a matter of fact, the justices of the Court of Appeal went further to even give an order for the arrest of the returning officer of PDP, Barrister Jacob Lawan and also the chairman of the electoral committee for criminally conniving to subvert the will of the people.”
Hon. Ayala who was accompanied by some members of his constituency, commended INEC for complying with the court order by restoring back the mandate of the people and issuing the certificate of return back to him.
“You don’t need to be told that I am standing here with my teeming supporters and of course the good people of Billiri East constituency.
“We are so happy, we grateful to God. We want to also show our appreciation to the electoral body for complying with this order, we also thank everybody that had a part in restoring the mandate of the people.
“Justice has been seen to have been done now by restoring the mandate by issuing us with the certificate of return,” he said.