REC: The Adamawa State Resident Electoral Commissioner, Hudu Yunusa-Ari generated a lot of controversy on Sunday after declaring the Gubernatorial candidate of the All Progressives Congress, APC, Aisha Dahiru alias ‘Binani’ as winner of the exercise.
Bellnewsonline.com recalls that the commission had shifted the announcement of state supplementary election results to 11 am on Sunday after results from 11 out of 20 local government areas where reruns were held had been announced.
Shockingly, the state REC, at about 9 am stormed the state INEC office in Yola, where the results were being collated and announced Binani as the winner of the governorship election.
Bellnewsonline.com learned that Binani was trailing behind Governor Ahmadu Fintiri of the Peoples Democratic Party, who had established a margin of lead of 31,249 votes.
Before the supplementary poll, Fintiri polled 421,524 votes ahead of Binani who got 390,275 votes.
However, Fintiri could not be declared the winner of the March 18 governorship election by the state by the state returning officer, Professor Mohammed Mele, of the Department of English and Linguistics, University of Maiduguri, because the margin of lead did not exceed the number of cancelled votes in 69 polling units.
The REC’s action sparked anger across the country as the PDP and its presidential candidate, Atiku Abubakar, called for the immediate arrest of Yunusa-Ari
The errant REC faces up to 36 months in Prison if found guilty of Electoral Malpractice.
However, INEC has called on the general public to disregard the REC’s actions adding that he would before a committee of the commission led by the National Chairman, Mahmood Yakubu, on Monday.
He and other officials will be questioned for usurping the powers of the State returning officer, who is the only individual that can validly declare the winner of a gubernatorial election.
A swift statement by INEC on Sunday over the matter read; “The attention of the Independent National Electoral Commission has been drawn to the purported declaration of a winner in the Adamawa State Governorship election by the Resident Electoral Commissioner, Mr Hudu Yunusa-Ari.”
“The action of the REC is a usurpation of the power of the Returning Officer and therefore null, void and of no effect. Consequently, the collation of the result of the supplementary election held yesterday 15th April 2023 is suspended forthwith.”
“The REC for Adamawa State and all other officials involved in the process are hereby directed to report immediately to INEC headquarters in Abuja.”
“Meanwhile, the Commission is deeply disturbed by the harassment of our two National Commissioners deployed to the State to ensure a peaceful and credible supplementary election. We urge the security agencies to provide them with the necessary security and ensure that nothing untoward befalls them. The two National Commissioners, the Returning Officer and other staff of the Commission must be allowed to perform their duties without let or hindrance.”
“The Commission will not condone any act of lawlessness or brigandage targeted at our officials or the process.”