INEC Replies Binani On Alleged Secret Meeting With Gov Fintiri Before Guber Results Declaration
The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has faulted Senator Aishatu Ahmed (Binani) on her claim that its officials met secretly with Governor Ahmadu Fintiri hours before the commission declared Fintiri as winner of the Adamawa State governorship election.
Binani, candidate of the All Progressives Congress (APC), made the claim while dismissing earlier reports that she paid N2 billion for her earlier controversial declaration as winner of the poll….CONTINUE READING
The Resident Electoral Commissioner for Adamawa, Hudu Yunusa-Ari, had illegally assumed the position of returning officer for the election and declared Binani as winner even though collocation of results were yet to be concluded.
The development resulted in suspension of the REC by the INEC management for what it described as “usurpation” of the powers of the returning officer whose exclusive preserve it was to announce the final results.
But following Fintiri’s declaration as winner of the keenly contested election, Binani accused INEC of subverting the people’s will.
“What happened in Adamawa was an unsuccessful attempt to subvert the will of the people. The REC was illegally told to stand down by two INEC national commissioners from Abuja who were supposed to be in Adamawa in a supervisory capacity.
“Even more curious is the nocturnal visit of some INEC national officers to Adamawa State Government house and bizarre declaration the same day after the visit that they have taken over the collation through the backdoor, with the Collation and Returning Officers selected by the Governor of Adamawa,” the Senator stated in a statement on Tuesday.
But reacting, Festus Okoye, INEC’s Commissioner for Information and Voter Education Committee, said the commission ordinarily doesn’t join issues with “partisan actors” but found the need to respond due to the strong allegations in Binani’s statement.
“To set the record straight, no such visit or meeting took place let alone the compilation of any purported list of collation and returning officers. Such a meeting would have been contrary to the oath of neutrality that we all swore to. Moreover, every conscientious observer would have noticed that the Commission appointed and retained only one Returning Officer for the Governorship election who also doubled as the State Collation Officer for the Presidential Election (SCOPE).
“Like all Returning Officers nationwide, he was issued with a letter of appointment by the Commission and the Resident Electoral Commissioner (REC) in Adamawa State was duly informed. The list of Collation Officers was also forwarded to the State with every page of the list personally endorsed by the Chairman of the Commission well ahead of the arrival of the National Commissioners.
“Similarly, the same Press Statement created the impression that the national headquarters of the Commission specifically targetted 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. Nothing can be further from the truth,” he said.
Okoye further urged members of the public to” discountenance these insinuations as nothing more than a claptrap. We also advise those behind the mischief to desist forthwith as such fabrications have endangered the lives of our officials (both ad hoc and regular) engaged in legitimate election duties. We expect well-meaning citizens to act within the bounds of propriety and decency.”….CONTINUE READING