Binani Takes INEC to Court, Insists on Recognition As Adamawa Governor-Elect

Opposition parties and non-governmental organisations on Sunday took a swipe at the Adamawa State Resident Electoral Commissioner, Hudu Yunusa-Ari, for usurping the duties of the state governorship election returning officer…..CONTINUE READING

The Independent National Electoral Commission had at 1 am on Sunday shifted the announcement of the state supplementary election results to 11 am after results from 11 out of 20 local government areas where reruns were held had been declared.

But before 11 am, the REC at 9 am came to the state INEC office in Yola, where the results were being collated and announced the All Progressives Congress candidate, Senator Aishatu Dahiru, popularly known as Binani as the winner of the governorship election.

Prior to her declaration, 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 results from the 10 councils as collated as of the time of filing this report showed Governor Fintiri adding to his lead of 31,249 with wins in Demsa, Lamurde, Jada, Ganye, Song, Maiha, Hong and Shelleng while Binani won only in Yola North and Yola South.

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 PUNCH also learnt that the errant REC may face 36 months imprisonment on conviction.

The declaration of Binani which was annulled by the Independent National Electoral Commission generated tension across Adamawa State on Sunday.

But INEC in its statement nullifying Ari’s action asked Nigerians to disregard the pronouncement at the collation centre.

It said it summoned the REC and other officials, who usurped the duties of the returning officer to Abuja.

The PUNCH learnt that the REC would appear before a committee of the commission led by the National Chairman, Mahmood Yakubu, on Monday.

Asked to state when the REC would appear before the panel, a source close to the national chairman, “Immediately. He’s on the way. He will appear before the commission by Monday. He was summoned to the headquarters today and he will appear tomorrow.”

But the National Commissioner and Chairman of the Information and Voter Education Committee, INEC, Festus Okoye, who signed the statement on Sunday, noted that the declaration by the REC was null and void as the action of the REC was “usurpation of the power of the returning officer.”

The commission has also invited Yunusa-Ari to Abuja over his action where he is expected to be quizzed over his conduct…..CONTINUE READING