With the March 18 governorship election declared inconclusive by INEC, the Commission rescheduled a supplementary election for April 16.
However, as the collation of the supplementary election was underway, the state Resident Electoral Commissioner (REC), Hudu Yunusa Ari, prematurely declared Binani the winner, contrary to the provisions of the Electoral Act.
Section 25 of the Electoral Act, 2022, empowers only the returning officer to announce the result and declare the winner of an election at the state collation centre in the case of the election of a governor of a state.
Incidentally, results had been declared for only 10 of the 20 local government areas (LGAs) in the supplementary poll, which indicated Fintiri was leading, having won in seven LGAs next to Binani’s three.
The declaration by Ari was quickly followed by an acceptance speech by the APC candidate.
In response, angry opposition members took their anger out on an INEC national commissioner, whom they mistook for the REC, assaulting him.
In a swift response to Binani’s declaration as the ‘winner’ of the Adamawa governorship election, INEC said the pronouncement was of no effect.
Consequently, INEC suspended the collation of results of the supplementary election in Adamawa and invited the REC, Returning Officer, and all officials involved to report back to the Commission’s Headquarters in Abuja.
The electoral body slammed the action of the Adamawa REC, saying it usurped the power of the Returning Officer.
Just last week, INEC filed a six-count charge against Ari.
The charges were filed at the High Court in Yola, the state capital, according to INEC’s spokesman, Festus Okoye.
In a statement on Thursday, Okoye said the electoral body took the action after reviewing the case file from the police, which established a prima facie case against Ari.
Source: CHANNELS TV