Monday, April 17, 2023

Binani declaration: APC, PDP clash, REC faces 36 months imprisonment

On Sunday, there was a heated dispute between opposition parties and non-governmental organizations

and the Adamawa State Resident Electoral Commissioner, Hudu Yunusa-Ari, for overstepping his bounds and taking on the responsibilities of the state governorship election returning officer. The conflict arose after the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) announced a delay in the release of the state supplementary election results, which were scheduled for 11 am on Sunday. The announcement came after the results of 11 out of 20 local government areas where reruns were held had been declared.


However, before 11 am, the REC, Hudu Yunusa-Ari, arrived at the state INEC office in Yola where the results were being tallied and announced the All Progressives Congress (APC) candidate, Senator Aishatu Dahiru, also known as Binani, as the winner of the governorship election. This declaration was made despite Binani being behind Governor Ahmadu Fintiri of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) who had a lead of 31,249 votes.


Before the supplementary poll, Fintiri had polled 421,524 votes while Binani had 390,275 votes. However, the state returning officer, Professor Mohammed Mele, of the Department of English and Linguistics, University of Maiduguri, could not declare Fintiri the winner of the March 18 governorship election because the margin of lead did not exceed the number of cancelled votes in 69 polling units.


The announcement by the REC has been met with criticism from opposition parties and non-governmental organizations who have accused him of meddling with the electoral process and disregarding due process. The REC has defended his actions, saying that he acted in the best interest of the state and that his decision was based on the results from the polling units.


The situation in Adamawa State has caused concern among many Nigerians who fear that the integrity of the electoral process is being compromised. The INEC has promised to investigate the incident and take appropriate actions to ensure that the will of the people is respected.


Declaration annulled

The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has nullified the declaration of a winner in the Adamawa State Governorship election by the Resident Electoral Commissioner (REC), Mr. Hudu Yunusa-Ari. This announcement was made by the National Commissioner and Chairman of the Information and Voter Education Committee, INEC, Festus Okoye, who signed the statement on Sunday.


Okoye noted that the action of the REC was a “usurpation of the power of the returning officer” and as such, the declaration was null and void. The commission has invited Yunusa-Ari to Abuja to be quizzed over his conduct.


In a statement issued by INEC, it was revealed that the collation of the result of the supplementary election held on 15th April 2023 is suspended forthwith as a result of the REC's actions. The statement further explained that the REC's declaration was a direct violation of the electoral laws and a gross misconduct.


The nullification of the declaration has caused tension and uncertainty in the state as supporters of various political parties eagerly await the final outcome of the election. However, INEC has reassured the people of Adamawa State and the general public that the commission is committed to ensuring a free, fair and credible election in line with its constitutional mandate.


In the meantime, the commission has urged all stakeholders to remain calm and law-abiding while it works to resolve the situation. The commission has also vowed to take all necessary steps to ensure that the election is concluded in a peaceful and transparent manner.


Adamawa REC

The Resident Electoral Commissioner (REC) for Adamawa State, Mr. Hudu Ari, has come under fire for his handling of the recent elections in the state. The REC has been accused of manipulating the results of the March 18 governorship election and declaring the APC candidate, Aisha Binani, as the winner of the supplementary elections, even though the counting of votes had not been completed.


The PDP Board of Trustees has called on the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to immediately declare Governor Ahmadu Fintiri as the winner, as the REC's actions were in disregard of due process and the rule of law.


The Chief Spokesman of the Obi-Datti Presidential Campaign Council, Yunusa Tanko, has also criticized the REC's actions, describing them as an embarrassment to the nation and a vindication of the Labour Party's position that the electoral umpire had been compromised.


Governor Fintiri has appealed for calm and urged citizens to remain peaceful in the face of provocation by "merchants of anarchy." He has called on INEC to conclude the collation exercise and ensure that the right thing is done, as its integrity is at stake.


The governor has also pointed out that the same gang who attempted to steal the election and rendered the governorship poll inconclusive had not relented in stretching the collective patience of the citizens of the state to its limit.


The people of Adamawa State are determined not to be cheated three times in a row and will challenge any injustice without hesitation. The integrity of the electoral body is being tested, and it must act accordingly to ensure that justice is done and the will of the people is upheld.



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