The Resident Electoral Commissioner in Adamawa, Hudu Yunusa-Ari has been under serious fire since announcing Binani as the winner in last Saturday’s supplementary guber election in the state.
CSOs and other stakeholders in the state lambasted the REC for usurping one of the functions of the State Returning Officer whose duty was to announce the winner of the polls
The Independent National Electoral Commission had at 1 am on Sunday shifted the announcement of the state supplementary election results to 11 am after results from 11 out of 20 local government areas where reruns were held had been declared.
But before 11 am, the REC at 9 am came to the state INEC office in Yola, where the results were being collated and announced the All Progressives Congress candidate, Senator Aishatu Dahiru, popularly known as Binani as the winner of the governorship election.
Prior to her declaration, Binani was trailing behind Governor Ahmadu Fintiri of the Peoples Democratic Party, who had established a margin of lead of 31,249 votes.
Before the supplementary poll, Fintiri polled 421, 524 votes ahead of Binani who got 390, 275 votes.
However, Fintiri could not be declared the winner of the March 18 governorship election by the state by the state returning officer, Professor Mohammed Mele, of the Department of English and Linguistics, University of Maiduguri, because the margin of lead did not exceed the number of cancelled votes in 69 polling units.
The results from the 10 councils as collated as of the time of filing this report showed Governor Fintiri adding to his lead of 31,249 with wins in Demsa, Lamurde, Jada, Ganye, Song, Maiha, Hong and Shelleng while Binani won only in Yola North and Yola South.
The REC’s action sparked anger across the country as the PDP and its presidential candidate, Atiku Abubakar, called for the immediate arrest of Yunusa-Ari
The PUNCH also learnt that the errant REC may face 36 months imprisonment on conviction.
The declaration of Binani which was annulled by the Independent National Electoral Commission generated tension across Adamawa State on Sunday.