Confusion as REC announces APC’s Binani winner of Adamawa governorship election, INEC says declaration null and void
- The REC in Adamawa State declared the APC candidate winner of the governorship election in the state without the presence of the Returning officer who is supposed to announce the result.
- INEC says the declaration is null, void and of no effect and subsequently suspended further collation of results in the state.
- INEC invites the REC, Returning Officer and all involved to the Commission’s Headquarters in Abuja.
There appears to be confusion trailing the governorship election in Adamawa State as the Resident Electoral Commissioner (REC) in the state, Barrister Hudu Yunusa Ari, has declared the All Progressive Congress (APC) candidate, Aisha Dahiru, as the winner of the election amid protests.
However, INEC Headquarters in a statement shortly after the announcement said that the declaration is null, void and of no effect and subsequently suspended the collation of results of the supplementary election in the state.
The Adamawa REC made the declaration on Sunday following the governorship supplementary election that was held on Saturday, April 15, 2023, with members of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) protesting.
Returning officer not present at collation centre
It was reported that before the collation of exercise was suspended on Saturday night, results from 10 Local Government Areas (LGAs) had been announced — and Aisha Dahiru popularly known as Binani was trailing Ahmadu Fintiri, the incumbent governor and PDP candidate.
The collation of results of the remaining 10 LGAs was expected to commence by 11 am on Sunday.
Governorship election results are traditionally announced by the state returning officer.
However, Mele Lamido, the returning officer for the Adamawa governorship election, was not present when Ari announced Binani as the winner of the election.
INEC suspends collation
Meanwhile, INEC suspended the collation of results of the supplementary election, saying that the action of the REC in Adamawa State is a usurpation of the power of the Returning Officer.
This was made known in a statement issued by the INEC National Commissioner for Information and Voter Education, Festus Okoye, on Sunday, April 16, 2023, where he stated that the REC, returning officer and others involved have been invited to the Commission’s Headquarters in Abuja.
Okoye frowned at the purported declaration of the winner in the election even when the collation process has not been concluded.
- Okoye in the statement said, ‘’The attention of the Commission has been drawn to a purported declaration of a 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 the 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. Detailed statement to follow shortly.’’