Stakeholders in Adamawa state on Sunday took a swipe at the Adamawa State Resident Electoral Commissioner, Hudu Yunusa-Ari, for announcing the results of the gubernatorial election while collation of results were yet to be concluded.
The Independent National Electoral Commission had at 1 am on Sunday shifted the announcement of the state supplementary election results to 11AM after results from 11 out of 20 local government areas where reruns were held had been declared.
The Commission distanced itself from the Resident Electoral Commissioner (REC) for usurping the duties of the state Returning Officer when he announced the candidate of the All Progressives Congress candidate (APC), Senator Aishatu Dahiru, popularly known as Binani as the winner of the governorship election at 9AM at the state INEC office in Yola, where the results were being collated.
Prior to controversial declaration, Binani was closely following Governor Ahmadu Fintiri of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), who had established a marginal lead of 31,249 votes.
As of the time of filing this report, the Commission has summoned the REC and the Returning Officer, Prof. Mele Mohammed, to Abuja and halted further collation of results of the supplementary election in the state.
INEC’s National Commissioner in charge of Voter Education, Festus Okoye, who announced these steps, added that the commission’s management would meet tomorrow to review the Adamawa situation and take a final decision.
Okoye said: “The situation on the ground is that we have suspended the further collation of results for the Adamawa governorship election, pending when the commission meets to take a position.
“Secondly, we have also summoned the Collation and returning officer, Prof. Mele. He is already in Abuja.
“We have also summoned the REC for Adamawa, who illegally went and made a declaration and a return, to Abuja. He knows that part of his function has nothing to do with making declarations and returns. The REC represents the commission in the state and exercises the power delegated to him by the commission and is also answerable to the Commission.
“Being the Collation officer and being a Returning officer was not part of the functions he was supposed to perform. So, he has to come and explain to the Commission.”
There was uproar at the collation centre in Yola, the state capital, following the hijack of the functions of the Returning Officer, Prof. Mohammed, by the REC, who declared Binani the winner of the inconclusive election.
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