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INEC Slaps Suspended Adamawa Resident Commission with 6-Count Criminal Charge

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YOLA, Nigeria – The Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, has filed a six-count charge against its suspended Resident Electoral Commissioner, REC, in Adamawa State, Hudu Yunusa-Ari, following a controversial declaration made during the state’s gubernatorial election.

The charges were filed at the High Court in Yola, the capital of Adamawa State.

INEC, in its statement on Thursday, July 6, 2023, revealed that it decided to take this step after reviewing the case file from the police, which, according to INEC, established a prima facie case against Yunusa-Ari.

The saga involving Yunusa-Ari commenced after the supplementary election in Adamawa on April 15, 2023.

Amid the ongoing collation of results, Yunusa-Ari prematurely announced Aisha ‘Binani’ Dahiru of the All Progressives Congress, APC, as the winner.

This unexpected declaration, made while the collation was not yet complete, caused a stir.

INEC subsequently nullified the announcement made by Yunusa-Ari and suspended him.

Former President Muhammadu Buhari also ordered a full-scale investigation into the actions of the electoral commissioner and the security personnel accompanying him at the time of the announcement.

After proper completion of the election process, INEC declared the incumbent governor, Ahmadu Fintiri of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, as the legitimate winner.

Following his suspension, Yunusa-Ari was arrested by the police for his actions during the election. He was later granted administrative bail, with the condition that he must report to the headquarters of the Nigeria Police Force, NPF, on weekdays.

Festus Okoye, INEC National Commissioner, had indicated last month that the commission would soon take decisive action regarding the case.

“I am aware that the police have concluded investigations, and I am aware that in the next few weeks, Nigerians will be informed of what will happen. Under the law, it is the responsibility of the Independent National Electoral Commission to prosecute him (Ari) if a prima facie case has been made out against him,” Okoye stated.

With the six-count charge now officially filed, eyes are on the court proceedings as they unfold, and the electoral integrity in Adamawa State hangs in the balance.

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