Disquiet as INEC transfers collation of Adamawa Guber supplementary results to Abuja


…Commission disown REC’s declaration of Binani

…Atiku, PDP kick, demands arrest of REC

By Tunde Opalana

Yola, the capital of Adamawa State wears uncertainty look as there was furore over the declaration of Senator Aishatu Dahiru Ahmed popularly known as Binani by the state Resident Electoral Commissioner (REC), Mallam Hudu Yunusa Ari.

Saturday’s supplementary election followed declaration of the March 18 governorship election in the state inconclusive.

The Daily Times gathered that while the collation was ongoing and supporters of the two major contenders, Governor Ahmadu Fintiri of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and Senator Binani of the All Progressives Congress (APC) anxiously await completion of results collation, the REC sneaked into the collation centre around 9:00am Sunday morning instead of the scheduled 11:00am to declare Senator Binani winner.

The REC was flanked by the visiting Commissioner of Police, Director, State Security Directorate, (DSS) and the State Commandant, NSCDC while announcing the purported result.

It was further learnt that as at 1:00 am Saturday night, results from 10 local government areas collated showed PDP had 9,145 votes while APC got 6,339 votes.”

But in a swift reaction, the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) at the Abuja headquarters disowned the REC and his declaration.

Okoye in the statement said “the attention of the Commission has been drawn to a purported declaration of winner in the Adamawa Governorship election by the Resident Electoral Commissioner (REC) even when the process has clearly not been concluded.

“The action of the REC is a usurpation of the power of the Returning Officer. It is null, void and of no effect.
Consequently, the collation of results of the supplementary election is hereby suspended.

“The REC, Returning Officer and all involved are hereby invited to the Commission’s Headquarters in Abuja immediately.”

The National Commissioner however promised adequate update on the development as he said “detailed statement to follow shortly.”

In his reaction, reaction presidential candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party in the 2023 presidential election, Atiku Abubakar insinuated plot to undermine democracy, provoke violence in Adamawa State.

He called the attention of Nigerians to the game plan of upturning the democratic wishes of the people of Adamawa in the governorship election in the state.

Atiku, in a press release signed by his Media Adviser, Paul Ibe, said that the initial decision of the Resident Electoral Commissioner in Adamawa State to declare the APC candidate, Sen. Aisha Binani, as the winner of the election, is a case study to the shambolic nature of the 2023 elections in general.

“Here in Adamawa, we are witnesses to a novel practice in election management where a Resident Electoral Commissioner announced the loser of an election as a winner.

“It is not in doubt that INEC has approached the Adamawa State election with a preset agenda of declaring the APC at all cost.

“It is, therefore, on this note that we wish to call the attention of the world to the scheme being perpetrated by INEC to compromise the electoral wishes of the people of Adamawa State.

“We also wish to inform the world that such behaviour by INEC has a natural consequence of unsettling the peace and security of the society.

“We have seen how INEC conducted the February 25 and March 18 elections against the run of play and challenging cheated candidates to go to the court, knowing full well the agenda that they are up to.

“It must be put on record that the people of Adamawa State will not allow themselves to cheated three times in a row. It must also be put on record that whatever the consequences of the scheme being scripted, both the INEC and those vested with state powers should be blamed for the consequences of such actions.

“That the APC candidate has a prepared acceptance speech is a pointer to the guarantee of a false victory which the INEC must have promised her.

“Recall that this was the same Resident Electoral Commissioner who pressured the Returning Officer to manipulate the results of the contentious Fufore Local Government Area in the March 18 governorship election.

“The people of Adamawa shall not allow this injustice to pass without being challenged.

“We demand the immediate resumption of the collation of results and its finalisation today.

“It is also our demand that the Adamawa REC and any other parties complicit in this treasonable act should be arrested immediately and prosecuted to the full extent of the law to serve as a deterrent to anti-democratic forces who may want to torpedo our democracy and provoke violence in our country”.

In the same vein, the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) insisted that its candidate, Governor Fintiri won the election.

The PDP also demanded for the immediate arrest and prosecution of the Adamawa State Resident Electoral Commissioner (REC), Mallam Hudu Yunusa Ari, for making such illegal declaration in criminal usurpation of the duties and powers of the Returning Officer, Prof Mohammed Mele, while collation was on-going.

According to PDP, it is even more absurd that the Adamawa State REC did not only usurp the powers of the Returning Officer but attempted to declare a winner without figures in reckless violation of the provisions of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria 1999 (as amended), the Electoral Act, 2022, INEC Guidelines as well as the sensibility of the people of Adamawa State.

“This reprehensible criminal conduct of the Adamawa State REC confirms the earlier alarms by the PDP which demanded for his immediate removal from Adamawa State following evidence of his complicity and being compromised by the APC and its candidate to manipulate the election in their favour notwithstanding the votes by the people of Adamawa State.

“Mallam Yunusa Ari’s action is subversive and calculated to cause crisis in Adamawa State, destabilize our democracy and peaceful co-existence as a nation. We call on the Inspector General of Police to immediately arrest Mallam Yunusa Ari and make him face the full wrath of the law for his conduct,” said the party’s spokesperson, Hon. Debo Ologunagba.

The PDP noted the pronouncement by INEC Headquarters that the action of Mallam Yunusa Ari is “null, void and of no effect”.

The PDP therefore demanded that” INEC Headquarters should immediately direct the Returning Officer to conclude collation, announce the results from the Polling Units and declare our candidate, Governor Ahmadu Umaru Fintiri as winner, having scored the majority of lawful votes cast.”

The party claimed that from the results already collated across the 69 Polling Units where the supplementary elections held and which are on the INEC Result Viewing (IReV) portal, Governor Fintiri clearly won the election.

“Our party therefore demands that INEC should without further delay announce the results as already collated from the Polling Units and declare Governor Fintiri as winner. Anything short of this will not be accepted by our Party and the people of Adamawa State,” declared the PDP

The Daily Times recalled that before declaring the March 18 polls inconclusive, the incumbent Governor Fintiri polled 421,524 votes, while his main rival, Binani scored 390,275.Fintiri defeated Binani with a margin of over 30,000 votes.

The governor also won the election in 13 of Adamawa’s 21 local government areas while Binani won in the remaining eight.

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The state INEC Collation officer, Professor Muhammed Mele, who announced the total results of the governorship election for all the parties that participated, concluded that the margin of win between the leading two parties was lower than the number of collected PVCs in places where the election did not hold.

Making the final announcement, Muhammed Mele indicated that a repeat election will be held in the afqfected places.

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