President Muhammadu Buhari has approved the immediate suspension from office of Barr. Hudu Yunusa Ari, Resident Electoral Commissioner (REC) of Adamawa State, pending the completion of investigation by the Inspector General of Police on the conduct/actions of the REC during the supplementary election in Adamawa State.
This was contained in a statement issued by the director of media in the office of the secretary to the government of the federation, Willy Bassey.
The president, Bassey said, also directed the immediate investigation and prosecution, if found liable, of Barr. Hudu Yunusa Ari by the inspector-general of police (IGP).
According to him, the president has further directed the Inspector General of Police, Director-General of the Department of State Services, and the Commandant General of the Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps to investigate the roles of their officers in aiding and abetting the actions of Yunusa Ari and take the appropriate disciplinary actions against them if they are found culpable.
Meanwhile, the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has denied allegations of partisanship in the recently conducted Adamawa supplementary elections.
The electoral body also advised the public to discountenance these insinuations as nothing more than a claptrap.
Recall that the collation of the election result was suspended for some days after the resident electoral commissioner (REC), Hudu Yunusa-Ari declared the governorship candidate of the All Progressives Congress (APC) in Adamawa, Aisha Dahiru Binani as the winner when the results from the remaining LGAs had not been announced.
However, Ahmadu Fintiri of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) was declared the winner of the election but it was not without some drama.
This is even as Binani has dismissed reports that she offered a N2 billion bribe to an official of INEC to be declared winner of the election.
INEC national commissioner and chairman, Information and Voter Education Committee, Festus Okoye, in a statement issued yesterday in Abuja, said there was no discreet nocturnal meeting between its officials and any governorship candidate.
Okoye also advised those behind the mischief to desist forthwith as such fabrications had endangered the lives of its officials – both ad hoc and regular, engaged in legitimate election duties.
He said, “The attention of the Commission has been drawn to a press statement by a candidate in the recently concluded Adamawa State Governorship election in which officials deployed for legitimate duty in the state were alleged to have undermined the electoral process after a discreet ‘nocturnal’ visit to the Government House and ostensibly met with one of the candidates in the election who gave them a list of ‘collation and returning officers’ deployed for the election.”
Okoye said no such visit or meeting took place let alone the compilation of any purported list of collation and returning officers, stressing that such a meeting would have been contrary to the oath of neutrality that INEC workers all swore to.
He said the same press statement created the impression that the national headquarters of the Commission specifically targeted Adamawa State in its deployment of National Commissioners and other officials with the sole intention of influencing the outcome of the supplementary election held on Saturday 25th April, 2023 and sidelining the REC, saying nothing could be further from the truth.
Okoye said for the record, it has been the standard policy and practice of the Commission to deploy National Commissioners, RECs and other staff from the headquarters or neighbouring states for supplementary or off-cycle elections where doing so was considered necessary.
He stressed that in the case of Adamawa State where supplementary governorship election was held in 69 polling units, two National Commissioners were deployed, while for Kebbi State involving 142 polling units, three National Commissioners were deployed.
Okoye noted: “Similarly, one National Commissioner each was deployed to Sokoto, Zamfara, Imo, Rivers, Ekiti and Ogun States. This has been the standard practice of the Commission of which all RECs are informed in advance.
“Therefore, Adamawa State was not specifically targeted. In all other states, the RECs worked cooperatively with the National Commissioners except in Adamawa State for reasons that are now obvious to all.”
He, however, urged all well-meaning citizens to act within the bounds of propriety and decency.
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