A DAY after his suspension was approved by President Muhammadu Buhari, there is confusion over the whereabouts of suspended Adamawa State Resident Electoral Commissioner (REC) Hudu Ari.
The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) on Friday, April 21, said it does not know Ari’s whereabouts.
Ari was suspended by INEC after he illegally declared the governorship candidate of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Aishatu Dahiru Binani as the winner of the Adamawa State governorship election on April 16.
The REC made the announcement while the collation of results was still going on, with incumbent governor and Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) candidate Ahmadu Fintiri leading in number of votes counted.
Speaking on Channels TV on Friday, the Chairman of INEC’s Information and Voter Education Committee, Festus Okoye said that the Commission does not know the whereabouts of the REC.
Okoye stressed that the Ari had stopped communicating with INEC, ignoring official directives.
“We don’t know where he is because, after this particular incident, the Commission wrote him and also called him on the phone. He never returned any of the calls, he never answered any of the calls.
“We asked him to report to the Commission on Sunday, we didn’t see him, we asked him to report on Monday we didn’t see him. So up till this moment, he has not reported and we don’t know his whereabouts.”
Okoye noted that it is the responsibility of the Nigerian Police to declare Ari wanted.
“Well, that is the responsibility of the Nigerian police. If they feel that his presence is absolutely needed during the investigation and he is nowhere to be found, it is their prerogative and discretion to declare him wanted.”
The INEC national commissioner said that the Commission had obtained a report from the Inspector General of Police and commenced the process for the prosecution of the suspended Adamawa Resident Electoral Commissioner.
The ICIR reported that President Muhammadu Buhari approved the suspension of the Adamawa REC on Thursday, April 20.
The development was disclosed in a statement signed by the Director of Information in the Office of the Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Willie Bassey.
The statement noted that the Adamawa State Police Commissioner, Directorate of State Services (DSS) officials and their counterparts from the Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps (NSCDC), who aided Ari’s declaration would be investigated alongside the suspended INEC official.
The President ordered the Director-General of the DSS and Commandant-General of the NSCDC to probe their officials who were involved in the illegal act.
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