The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has suspended the collation of results in Adamawa supplementary election over what it called the usurpation of power by its Residents Electoral Commissioner (REC).
This comes after Yunusa Ari, the REC announced Aisha ‘Binani’ Dahiru, candidate of the All Progressives Congress (APC), as the winner of the election. His announcement has elicited protests from members of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP).
The electoral umpire made the announcement in a statement signed by its spokesman Festus Okoye on Twitter, Sunday morning.
“The attention of the Commission has been drawn to a purported declaration of winner in the Adamawa Governorship election by the Resident Electoral Commissioner (REC) even when the process has clearly not been concluded,” INEC tweeted.
“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.
Detailed statement to follow shortly.”
The attention of the Commission has been drawn to a purported declaration of winner in the Adamawa Governorship election by the Resident Electoral Commissioner (REC) even when the process has clearly not been concluded.
— INEC Nigeria (@inecnigeria) April 16, 2023
Before the collation of 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.
The collation of results of the remaining 10 LGAs was expected to commence by 11am on Sunday.
Governorship election results are traditionally announced by the state returning officer. But Mele Lamido, the returning officer for the Adamawa governorship election, was not present when Ari announced Binani as the winner of the election.
Recall that in March, INEC declared the governorship election inconclusive. At that time Fintiri, scored 421,524 votes against Binani with 390, 275.