The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has recalled the Resident Electoral Commissioner (REC) Adamawa State, following the declaration of a winner in what INEC described as an inconclusive governorship election.
The National Commissioner, Information and Voter Education, Festus Okoye disclosed this in a statement released on Sunday after the Adamawa REC, Yunisa Ari declared Aisha ‘Binani’ Dahiru of the All Progressive Congress as the winner of the governorship election in the State.
INEC on Saturday, 15th April, held a supplementary election in some parts of the state where it was declared inconclusive during the 18th March governorship polls.
Okoye said the process of the election was not yet concluded before the declaration of the winner.
He said that what the REC did was a usurpation of the power of the Returning Officer of the election and is “therefore null and void, and of no effect.”
Okoye further stated that the collation of results has been suspended, adding that the REC and his team have been directed to appear before the Commission’s headquarters in Abuja.
The statement read: “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 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 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.”
The announcement of Binani as the winner of the election elicited protests from members of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) present at the state collation centre in Yola.
Before the collation exercise was suspended on Saturday night, results from 10 LGAs had been announced — and Binani was trailing Ahmadu Fintiri, the incumbent governor and PDP candidate.
According to reports, the collation of results from the remaining 10 LGAs was expected to begin by 11 am on Sunday, and Mele Lamido, the returning officer for the Adamawa governorship election, was not present when the REC announced Binani as the winner of the election.
According to the constitution, Lamido is the rightful official empowered to declare the winner of the election.
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