Electoral Commissions, INECHe declared the declaration of Aisha Dahiru as the winner of the Adamawa governorship election as “null, void and of no effect”.
This was stated by INEC spokesperson Festus Okoye in a statement.
“The attention of the commission has been drawn to an alleged declaration of the winner in the Adamawa Governorship election by the Resident Electoral Commissioner (REC) even though the process has clearly not been completed,” he said.
PREMIUM TIMES reported how the INEC Resident Electoral Commissioner for Adamawa, Hudu Ari, on Sunday morning, controversially declared Mrs. Dahiru, alias Binani, the winner of the election.
But Mr Okoye said the REC’s decision to announce Ms Binani as the winner was a usurpation of powers.
According to the electoral law, the announcement was supposed to be made by the presiding officer of the election, which is another person, usually an academic appointed by INEC for the purpose.
The commission ordered the suspension of results collation and summoned the REC and the returning officer to the INEC headquarters in Abuja.
“REC’s action is a usurpation of the power of the Translators. It is null, void and of no consequence. As a result, the collection of the by-election results is suspended,” Mr. Okoye added.
“REC, returning officer and all concerned are hereby invited to the Abuja headquarters of the Commission.”
Mrs. Binani of the APC and Governor Ahmadu Fintiri of the PDP are the two main contestants in the election, ahead of Saturday’s by-elections with Mr. Fintiri leading in 69 polling stations.
Ahead of Saturday’s by-election, Mr Fintiri led Ms Binani by more than 30,000 votes.
The re-election was held in 69 polling stations in 20 local governments of the state with less than 40,000 voters.
Therefore, to win the election, Ms. Binani needed a high voter turnout and needed to win about 90 percent of the votes cast in Saturday’s by-election.
Observer groups react
Meanwhile, the Center for Democracy and Development (CDD) and YIAGA Africa have condemned the action of the Adamawa REC.
The observer groups, in separate statements, urged the election commission to continue the crackdown and punish all erring officers.
ALSO READ: Adamawa govt: Controversy as ‘wrong’ INEC official declares Binani winner
“It is important to comply with the established processes to avoid a breakdown in law and order in a more political environment. The CDD will release a statement on the development of the elections later today,” said the CDD on its Twitter handle.
YIAGA Africa also said: “We call on @inecnigeria to rescind the illegal declaration, suspend the REC for Adamawa state and take urgent action to protect the integrity of the process.”
However, the APC is already celebrating the ‘illegally’ announced result. The party, on its Twitter page, congratulated Ms. Binani.
Festus Keyamo, Minister of State for Labor and Employment, posted a congratulatory message on his Twitter handle.
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