AN All Progressives Congress (APC) lawmaker Senator Ishaku Elisha Abbo has said the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) lacks the power to nullify the controversial Adamawa governorship supplementary election result declared by the state Resident Electoral Commissioner (REC).
The REC, Hudu Ari, had on April 16 declared the candidate of the APC, Aishat Dahiru, popularly known as Binani, winner of the supplementary governorship election in the state.
INEC suspends Adamawa REC
However, INEC nullified the REC’s action, noting that he lacked the powers to declare the result of the election.
Reacting to the development on Channels Television on Monday, April 17, Abbo said provisions of the Electoral Act, 2022, as amended, forbids INEC from voiding the results declared by the REC.
Abbo argued that, according to the Electoral Act, further proclamation by INEC on the Adamawa supplentary election would be insignificant.
“They (INEC) cannot suspend collation. INEC cannot nullify an election that has been announced, they don’t have that power,” he said.
The lawmaker further argued that the declaration by the REC can only be challenged through legal means.
“Elections have been announced, it is out of their (INEC) hands. The result has been announced by the REC. Section 65 does not operate in isolation, there is Section 149.
“Notwithstanding any other provisions of this Act, any defect or error arising from any actions taken by an official of the Commission in relation to any notice, form, or document made or given or other things done by the official in pursuance of the provisions of the Constitution or of this Act, or any rules made thereunder remain valid, unless otherwise challenged and declared invalid by a competent court of law or tribunal.”
Abbo further stressed that it is futile to contest the already announced result.
The APC lawmaker accused the PDP of electoral violation.
“It has already been announced; you cannot review a result that they told us. They said the reason why they have not reviewed Fufore was that it was announced. We prepared for the elections and the elections went smoothly, with the introduction of BVAS, we all voted in line with the dictates of the Electoral Act and the INEC regulations.
“Election has taken place, the election was collated. PDP sent someone when they discovered that we had 37,000 votes in favour of APC and went and snatched election results. The chairman of the local government sent someone and snatched election results and disappeared,” he alleged.
Claiming that the incumbent governor, PDP candidate Ahmadu Fintiri coerced the Returning Officer to announce another result under duress, he said, “They went again and computed another result when they mobilized themselves in their thousands and chased out APC supporters and moved the collation centre to a police station.
“The governor drove in the presence of the former commissioner of police to Fufore and declared the result under duress.
“They forced the electoral officer to declare the result under duress, the governor was there, the commissioner of police was there.”
Abbo accused that the PDP and INEC commissioners of connivance to subvert the democratic process.
“The supplementary elections went very well until the national commissioners came from Abuja. In collaboration with the PDP, they decided to subvert the process and do a coup against the APC
“You cannot have a supplementary election without having the main election. It was the failure of the conclusiveness of the main elections that gave out supplementary elections. What happened in Fufore was a coup.”
The ICIR earlier reported that the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) through a statement on Sunday, April 7, summoned the Adamawa REC, Hudu Ari, to Abuja after he declared Binani winner of the supplementary governorship.
Ari reportedly declared Binani Governor-elect midway into collation of results of the supplementary election held on Saturday, April 16. However, the INEC Returning Officer is the official empowered by the Electoral Act, 2022, to make such a pronouncement.
Adamawa State governor Fintiri, described the REC’s action as provocative and illegal, and called on President Muhammadu Buhari to intervene in the matter.
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