International law firm Amsterdam & Peroff LLP has been retained to assist the legal team of Mallam Yusuf Maitama Tuggar, a popular Nigerian politician, in an alleged case of massive electoral fraud in the gubernatorial elections of the state of Bauchi, Nigeria, in April 2011.
According to election observers working with the opposition party Congress for Progressive Change (CPC), the incumbent governor of Bauchi state won re-election thanks only to a forced military curfew and fraudulent, massive, brazen and blatant thumb printing of ballot papers by agents believed to be in the employment of the incumbent Governor. Working alongside Tuggar’s highly regarded Nigerian legal counsel, Amsterdam & Peroff LLP intends to explore international legal options to seek redress while raising international awareness of cases of electoral fraud in Nigeria.
“The irregular conditions under which this vote took place, from the delayed election date to the extraordinary military measures, raise many doubts that Bauchi’s 2011 gubernatorial elections could be considered free or fair,” said Robert Amsterdam, founding partner of Amsterdam & Peroff LLP. “We intend to shed light on the facts and evidence of what happened during this election, when the citizens of Bauchi were allegedly deprived of their right to suffrage in violation of international law.”
Along with the populous state of Kaduna, gubernatorial elections in the predominantly Muslim state of Bauchi were delayed two days from the expected polling date of April 26th to April 28th due to violent civil disturbances following the victory of President Goodluck Jonathan. According to the official results from the Independent National Election Commission (INEC), incumbent Governor Isa Yuguda won the election with 771,503 votes, 60.57 percent, while Tuggar trailed with 238,426 votes for 18.72 percent.
Supporters of Tuggar, a Muslim moderate who served in Nigeria’s House of Representatives from 2007 to 2011, point out that most polls taken in the days before the election showed that the CPC candidate would obtain 44-45 percent of the vote, representing a comfortable 10-15 percent margin of victory over the next closest candidate, the incumbent governor running under the PDP ticket. Interestingly, both Bauchi and Kaduna states voted for the CPC presidential candidate, Muhammadu Buhari, by 81 percent and 51 percent respectively, yet both gubernatorial candidates from the PDP party ended up winning.
Amsterdam & Peroff LLP is an international law firm with offices in London, Toronto, and Washington DC. In addition to a 30-year history of working in Nigeria, the firm specializes in complex cases in emerging markets, representing among others Mikhail Khodorkovsky of Russia, Dr. Chee Soon Juan of Singapore, and Thaksin Shinawatra of Thailand.