The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has dismissed as mere fabrication, the allegation that its officials visited the Adamawa state government house on the just concluded supplementary governorship election.
While the results from the election were yet to be announced, Hudu Yunusa-Ari, resident electoral commissioner (REC) of the commission, declared Aisha ‘Binani’ Dahiru, candidate of the All Progressives Congress (APC), as the winner.
Although INEC subsequently declared the announcement null and void, the development triggered protests in the state and there were reports that the APC candidate gave INEC officials N2 billion to be announced as the winner.
Denying the accusation on Tuesday, Binani had alleged that some INEC national officers visited the Adamawa state government house and declared the results of the election the same day.
The APC candidate also alleged that the collation and returning officers were selected by the governor of Adamawa.
However, INEC, in a statement on Thursday, said “no such visit or meeting took place let alone the compilation of any purported list of collation and returning officers”.
The commission said it only appointed and retained only one returning officer for the governorship election who also doubled as the state collation officer for the presidential election.
“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,” the statement reads.
“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.
“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.
“In the case of Adamawa State 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.
“The public is advised 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.”
Leave a Reply