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Controversial Announcement: Rogue Adamawa INEC Commissioner Claims He Was Acting Under ‘Security Pressure’

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YOLA, Nigeria — Suspended Resident Electoral Commissioner, REC, for Adamawa State, Hudu Yunusa Ari, clarified in a letter to the Inspector-General of Police, Usman Alkali Baba, that he announced the results of 69 polling units in the April 15 supplementary election due to mounting security pressure.

The controversial declaration of the governorship election on April 16 named the All Progressives Congress, APC, candidate, Aishatu Ahmed Binani, the winner against the incumbent governor and Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, candidate, Ahmadu Fintiri.

Ari defended his actions on Saturday, April 29, 2023, in the letter, which was also copied to the chairman of the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, and the Director-General of the Department of State Services, DSS.

He stated that he acted within the law to prevent potential chaos resulting from delays in announcing the results.

Ari noted discrepancies between the results brought by the presiding officers from the 69 polling units, which he did not sign, and those uploaded on the INEC Result Viewing, IReV, portal.

The suspended REC detailed various risks he faced during the election, such as attempts to replace him as the collation officer with the administrative secretary, threats by candidates to incite mayhem, commissioners appointing ‘illegal collation officers,’ and his house being surrounded by policemen from the Government House.

Ari explained, “It was based on this that I compiled all the polling unit results and declared the winner of the election based on the highest number of valid votes scored by the candidate of the APC.”

Ari claimed to have obtained intelligence that two national commissioners met with Governor Fintiri at the Government House in Yola at 8:31 pm on April 15, 2023.

Following the election declaration, Ari revealed that some PDP supporters attacked two INEC commissioners and the returning officer, accusing them of failing to secure Governor Fintiri’s re-election.

“It was alleged that the people beaten in the purported video wanted to subvert the rerun election in Adamawa State and undermine the will of the people as expressed through the ballot,” he said.

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