Adamawa: How PDP called for resignation of REC due to purported malpractices

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The Independent National Electoral Commission’s (INEC) Resident Electoral Commissioner (REC) in Adawama State was targeted by THE Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) at least twice over alleged violations before he improperly declared the state’s governorship election winner on April 16.

On Tuesday, April 4, the party accused the REC of participating in suspected schemes to influence the outcome of the election in a statement signed by Debo Ologunagba, the party’s spokesperson.

According to reliable information that was made available to Ologunagba’s party, INEC is fostering a breakdown in law and order in Adamawa State by allowing Mallam Hudu Yunusa Ari to continue serving as the state’s resident electoral commissioner (REC) despite allegations that he participated in plots to rig the governor’s race in the state, despite the PDP’s commanding lead of 31,299 valid votes.

“It is provocative and unacceptable that INEC retained Mallam Yunusa Ari to preside over the April 15, 2023 governorship re-run election despite the fact that he was allegedly caught on tape ordering the Electoral Officer of Fufore Local Government Area of Adamawa State in Hausa to change the election results in favour of the All Progressives Congress (APC)’s defeated governorship candidate, Senator Aisha Binani,” said one observer.

The party asserted that the REC’s continuing tenure in office in the face of a protracted outcry from the state’s populace constituted to pushing the populace to the breaking point and daring them to act in the worst way possible.

On March 27, a few days after INEC ruled the state’s governorship election inconclusive, the PDP issued a similar request for Ari’s ouster.

The APC and its candidate, Aisha Dahiru (Binani), are accused of working together to rig the election, and the party demanded the REC’s dismissal and prosecution at a news conference.

“The PDP has evidence of reported collusion of the Adamawa State REC Mallam Hudu Yunusa Ari, in which he is allegedly caught on tape ordering the Electoral Officer of Fufore Local Government Area in the Hausa Language to alter results in favour of the APC governorship candidate,” Ologunagba stated.

“The Adamawa REC’s behaviour is abhorrent, sacrilegious, obscene, and unworthy of an electoral officer. Mallam Hudu Yunusa Ari should be immediately removed from his position as the State Resident Electoral Commissioner and turned over to the police for a thorough investigation and prosecution, according to INEC.

The PDP made additional claims about schemes to rig the election results in the APC’s favour.

On Sunday, April 16, shortly after Ari improperly declared Dahiru the winner of the poll, the PDP released a second statement denouncing his behaviour and reiterating its demand for his arrest and prosecution.

The party said that it was ludicrous for the REC to seek to announce a winner without figures in “reckless” violation of the terms of the country’s constitution and the Electoral Act, 2022, in addition to usurping the Returning Officer’s authority.

“This reprehensible criminal behaviour of the Adamawa State REC confirms the earlier alarms by the PDP,” it read. “Following evidence of his complicity and being compromised by the APC and its candidate to manipulate the election in their favour, notwithstanding the votes by the people of Adamawa State, the PDP demanded his immediate removal from Adamawa State.

“Mallam Yunusa Ari’s action is subversive and intended to create a crisis in Adamawa State, undermine our democracy, and disrupt our country’s ability to live in peace,” the statement reads. We formally request that the Inspector General of Police detain Mallam Yunusa Ari right away and subject him to the full force of the law in retaliation for his actions.

The PDP demanded a speedy completion of the vote count and the recognition of its candidate, the current governor of the state, Ahmadu Fintiri, who it said was leading, as the election victor while admitting INEC headquarters’ assertion that the REC’s pronouncement was a nullity.

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According to the ICIR, the INEC summoned the REC and its other impacted personnel to Abuja after claiming that Ari’s declaration usurped the authority of the state’s returning officer.

The Commission also put a stop to the state’s results compilation.

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