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‘Declared under duress’ — INEC removes Doguwa’s name from reps-elect list

‘Declared under duress’ — INEC removes Doguwa’s name from reps-elect list
March 07
11:23 2023

The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has removed Alhassan Doguwa’s name from the list of elected members of the house of representatives for the 10th assembly.

The electoral umpire had declared Doguwa, a member of the All Progressives Congress (APC), as the winner of the house of representatives seat for Doguwa/Tudun Wada federal constituency of Kano in the February 25 elections.

Ibrahim Yakasai, the returning officer, had said Doguwa scored 39,732 votes to defeat Salisu Abdullahi, candidate of the New Nigeria Peoples Party (NNPP), who polled 34,798 votes.

However, as of Tuesday morning, Doguwa’s name was missing from the list of elected house of representatives members released by INEC.

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In a comment posted on the list, INEC said Doguwa’s declaration as the winner was made under duress.

Section 65 (1) of the 2022 Electoral Act empowers INEC to review the declaration made by a returning officer under duress.

The section reads: “The decision of the returning officer shall be final on any question arising from or relating to –
(a) unmarked ballot paper;
(b) rejected ballot paper; and
(c) declaration of scores of candidates and the return of a candidate:

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“Provided that the Commission shall have the power within seven days to review the declaration and return where the Commission determines that the said declaration and return was not made voluntarily or was made contrary to the provisions of the law, regulations and guidelines, and manual for the election.”

TOUGH TIMES FOR DOGUWA

The development adds to the list of issues the lawmaker is contending with.

Doguwa is standing trial over alleged criminal conspiracy, culpable homicide, unlawful possession of a firearm, mischief, and public disturbance.

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On February 28, he was arrested at the Mallam Aminu Kano International Airport while boarding a flight to Abuja.

He was arrested after police received a report that he allegedly led thugs to set ablaze the secretariat of the NNPP in Kano, with two persons feared dead.

Although the legislator denied any wrongdoing, he was arraigned on March 1, at a magistrate court in Kano and was subsequently remanded in prison.

On Monday, a federal high court granted him bail to the sum of N500 million.

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In December 2022, Doguwa had threatened to “deal with” residents in the state if they failed to vote for the APC.

“To God who made me, on election day, you must vote for APC or we’ll deal with you,” the lawmaker said in Hausa.

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His comment was heavily criticised by Nigerians at the time.

The lawmaker later apologised, saying the remark was not a threat but “political semantics”.

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Doguwa is the majority leader of the house of representatives.

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