Fleeing Adamawa Resident Electoral Commissioner insists Governor Binani won election, writes authorities from hideout

Fleeing Adamawa Resident Electoral Commissioner insists Governor Binani won election, writes authorities from hideout

Promise Eze

On April 20, Hudu Yunusa-Ari, the suspended Residential Electoral Commissioner (REC) in Adamawa State who was accused of violating the provisions of the Electoral Act, wrote a letter to the Inspector General of Police, which was also copied to the Chairman of the Independent National Electoral Commission, the Director-General of the Department of State Services (DSS), and the National Security Adviser (NSA), from his hideout.

According to reports, Yunusa-Ari was flown out of Yola, the state capital, in a private jet belonging to the vice-presidential candidate of the Labour Party in the 2023 elections, Yusuf Datti Baba-Ahmed, on Sunday, April 16.

Yunusa-Ari was flown out of the city immediately after he illegally and wrongfully announced Aishatu Dahiru Binani, the candidate of All Progressives Congress (APC), as the winner of the governorship election in the state.

Yunusa-Ari was accused of bizarrely allocating 221,303 votes to the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) candidate, the incumbent governor, Ahmadu Umaru Fintiri, which represented a 50% shortfall from his initial 400,000 votes.

The Independent National Electoral Commission nullified the announcement and invited the REC to its headquarters in Abuja. Meanwhile, in his letter, Yunusa-Ari accused two National Commissioners sent from the INEC head office, Dr. Baba Bila and Prof. Abdullahi Zuru, of trying to rig the election for Governor Fintiri.

He said that the actions of the two National Commissioners left much to be desired, and that the commissioners held a meeting with his management staff in his absence, where they tampered with the list of Collation Officers earlier released for the re-run election.

Yunusa-Ari claimed that the National Commissioners quietly and secretly gave out conflicting counter-directives to the Electoral Officers that collation was to be done in the Local Government Areas with an instruction that new LGA collation officers which he was not aware of would be sent to them. Yunusa-Ari further alleged that his name was replaced with that of the Administrative Secretary to take charge of the collation.

He continued, “I then asked the National Commissioners to explain why they would exclude me from the process of collating results but there was no explanation. After some time, the National Commissioners declared that I was nowhere to be found Immediately after the announcement, someone called me and informed about the development.

“So around 1:00 am on Sunday 16 April, 2023, I came back to the collation center and as I saw some people sleeping including the two National Commissioners, I addressed them that I was still the Resident Electoral Commissioner and that all stakeholders for the re-run election should return to the collation center by 11:00 am on Sunday, 16 April, 2023.

“It is important to note that while the National Commissioners defied the security concerns released by the Commissioner of Police, they purportedly did result collation at various locations by their self-appointed, unapproved and illegal collation officers.

“Meanwhile, I received reports that the collations at the various centers were left much to be desired. So due to the pressure and the numerous calls I received from party agents and candidates of political parties threatening to cause mayhem for not having confidence in the collation of results at the various collation centers as directed by the National Commissioners, I looked inward and decided to call for all the results from the sixty-nine (69) polling units.

“To avert the impending danger of the delay in announcing the results of the supplementary elections, I received the authentic results submitted by the Presiding Officers (POs) from all the sixty-nine polling units and compared them with the results that were uploaded on the IREV INEC portal and realized that the results on the portal were different because the results on the INEC portal were not signed by me.

“On 15/04/2023 at about 10:00pm, armed Policemen from Government House came to my house and placed me under House Arrest to prevent me from conducting my legitimate duties. It took the intervention of the Commissioner of Police who sent Mobile Policemen to my house and when they heard a call was made to the CP, the policemen from Government House fled in a White Toyota Hilux van.”

“It was based on this, that I compiled all the polling unit results and declared the winner of the election based on the highest number of valid votes scored by the candidate of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Aishatu Dahiru Ahmed Binani,” he said.

He added that before he declared the results, “there was an intelligence report made available to me that the two National Commissioners were at the Government House, Yola, at 8:31 pm on 15/04/2023 Adamawa State and held a meeting with the State Governor, Mr. Ahmadu Umaru Fintiri.

“So, immediately after the declaration, some PDP supporters attacked one of the National Commissioners, Prof. Abdullahi Zara as well as the Returning Officer, Prof. Muhammed Mele for failing to deliver Mr. Ahmadu Umaru Fintiri in the election after collecting money from him.

“It was also alleged that the people beaten in the purported video wanted to subvert the re-run election in Adamawa State and undermine the will of the Adamawa people as expressed through the ballot.”

“A staff of Department of State Services (DSS) on intelligence gathering on the money allegedly given to the National Commissioner was also disarmed, abducted, taken to Government House Yola and assaulted by Police from Government House Yola and thugs loyal to the PDP,” he added.


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