Adamawa Gov. Election Crisis: INEC suspends REC, announces date of results announcement

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The Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, will declare the results of the disputed and dramatic governorship election in Adamawa State on Thursday, according to Vanguard.

Dr. Festus Okoye, National Commissioner and Chairman of the Information and Voter Education Committee, stated Tuesday and Wednesday that the INEC will have a “Commission” meeting on the matter.

Senator Aisha Dahiru Binani of the All Progressives Congress, APC, was unilaterally reinstated as duly elected by the Commission on Monday after Mr. Hudu Yunusa-Ari usurped the authority of the Chief Returning Officer and caused controversy by unilaterally returning the results while collation was still underway.

The returning officer, not the resident electoral commissioner, is in charge of declaring the results of an election. The INEC called the REC and Mele Lamido, the election’s returning officer, to its Abuja headquarters.

The supplemental election results from 10 LGAs had not yet been tallied when the REC declared Binani the winner.

According to the results tallied on Saturday, Ahmadu Fintiri, the PDP candidate for governor of Adamawa State, was in the lead.

As PDP members and supporters demonstrated in the state, the commission yesterday invalidated Yunusa-Ari’s announcement, prohibited the REC from its office, and gave the electoral umpire a 72-hour deadline to declare the results.

This came as a group of civil society organizations, or CSOs, dubbed the political theater surrounding the extra poll in Adamawa State an attempt to destabilize Nigeria’s democracy and urged President Muhammadu Buhari to intervene.

Adamawa is the only one of the 26 states whose governorship elections have yet to be completed. Along with Kebbi, the first election on March 18 was deemed inconclusive. However, the other additional polls were completed on April 15, while Adamawa’s faced a new dilemma as a result of the suspended REC’s actions.

Following Yunusa-Ari’s unilateral decision, the INEC has ordered the REC to leave its Yola, Adamawa State headquarters.
The INEC asked its Administrative Secretary in Adamawa to assume command of its business in a letter dated April 17, 2023 and signed by its Secretary, Rose Oriaran-Anthony.

“I hereby convey the Commission’s decision that you (Barr. Hudu Yunusa-Ari), Resident Electoral Commissioner, Adamawa State, should stay away from the Commission’s office in Adamawa State immediately until further notice,” said part of the letter.The Administrative Secretary has been asked to assume complete control of INEC in Adamawa State immediately.”

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