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Adamawa Poll: INEC Counters Binani’s Accusation Of Partisanship

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The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has denied playing partisan role in the Adamawa State governership election.

The Commission stated this in reaction to the allegations by the governorship candidate of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Senator Aishatu Dahiru Ahmed, that it played partisan role in the Supplementary election held in state on Saturday, 15th April.

Senator Ahmed popularly called Binani, had in a statement on Wednesday, alleged that two INEC National Commissioners deployed to the state for the supplementary election “illegally” told the Resident Electoral Commissioner “to stand down.”

She further alleged that the national commissioners made a “nocturnal visit” to the Adamawa State Government house where they were allegedly given a compiled list of returning officers to work with, and there after declared the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) candidate and incumbent governor, Umaru Ahmadu Fintiri winner of the election.

“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 the same INEC national officers to Adamawa State Government house and bizarre declaration same day after the visit that they have taken over the collation through the backdoor, with collation and returning Officers selected by the Governor Adamawa. The roles of these INEC officers from Abuja and the real mission of the visit to the Government house should be of interest to all democrats,” Binani stated.

Reacting to that, INEC in a statement released by its spokesperson, Festus Okoye, said no such visit was made and no meeting took place, adding that if such was done, it would have been contrary to the oath of neutrality they all swore to.

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READ ALSO: INEC Ends Adamawa Imbroglio, Declares Fintiri Winner

Okoye explained that as is the tradition of the Commission, national commissioners were deployed to states having supplementary elections where it deemed it necessary.

He said: “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.”

Okoye further clarified that only two national commissioners were deployed for the election that took place in 69 polling units across the state, while three were deployed to Kebbi State where elections were held in 142 polling units, adding that Adamawa State was not specifically targeted “in its deployment of National Commissioners and other officials with the sole intention of influencing the outcome of the supplementary election held on Saturday 15th April 2023 and sidelining the REC,” as the statement from Binani portrayed.

“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 is considered necessary.

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“In the case of Adamawa 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.

“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,” Okoye further stated.

He advised members of the public to disregard the insinuations being made and warned those behind the mischief to desist forthwith, adding that 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,” he concluded.

Binani Denies Giving ₦2bn Bribe To Win Adamawa Election

Meanwhile, the Governorship candidate of the APC, Binani, has denied allegations that she gave the REC, Barr Hudu Yunusa Ari, ₦2 billion as bribe to declare the the election in her favour.

Adamawa Poll: INEC Counters Binani's Accusation Of Partisanship

The allegation was reportedly made by one Isa, said to be an official of the Department of State Services (DSS), while being held by some people trailing the REC after his illegal declaration of Binani as the winner of the governorship election on Sunday.

Adamawa Poll: INEC Counters Binani's Accusation Of Partisanship
The man identified as Isa said to be DSS officer

A video that went viral on Sunday showed the man begging his captors not to hurt him, claiming that he was not part of the alleged fraud.

Binani, however, denied involvement in such conduct, and described it as a “bizarre, unfounded” and “wild allegations” made against her.

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She said: “I never did, and would never do such. This said statement was allegedly made when the officer was being tortured at gunpoint by the agents of the Adamawa State Governor and the Government house police team alongside their political thugs.

“I wish to reiterate that I am a democrat, I have always been a committed democrat and will never do anything to subvert democratic process. I am not do-or-die politician. In the past I have won elections into the House of Representatives and the Senate in free and fair manner.”

She thanked all her supporters and urged them to remain calm and law abiding.


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