INEC drags suspended Adamawa REC to court, files 6-count charge

THE Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has filed a six-count charge against the suspended Adamawa State Resident Electoral Commissioner (REC) Hudu Yunusa Ari.

The charge was filed at the High Court in Yola, Adamawa State capital.

This was disclosed in a statement signed by INEC spokesperson Festus Okoye on Thursday, July 6.

INEC said it took action after reviewing the case file from the Police, which established a prima facie case against Ari.

“As provided by Section 145(1) of the Electoral Act 2022, an offence committed under the Act shall be triable in a Magistrate Court or a High Court of a State in which the offence is committed, or the Federal Capital Territory, Abuja.

“Furthermore, Section 145(2) of the Act provides that a prosecution under the Act shall be undertaken by legal officers of the Commission or any legal practitioner appointed by it.

“Having reviewed the case file from the Police, which established a prima facie case against Barr. Hudu Yunusa Ari, the Commission has filed a six-count charge against him at the Adamawa State High Court sitting in Yola. 

“Consequently, the Court has fixed Wednesday 12th July 2023 for the commencement of trial,” the statement said.

The Commission said it is working with the Nigerian Bar Association (NBA) for a diligent prosecution of the case.

The ICIR reported on July 5 that the INEC said it is ready to prosecute the suspended REC for his role in the 2023 elections.

The Commission also said it would work with the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) and Independent Corrupt Practices, and other related Offences Commission (ICPC) to prosecute persons engaged in vote buying during the general elections.

The Chairman of the Commission, Mahmood Yakubu made the disclosure while addressing RECs from the 36 states and the Federal Capital Territory (FCT).

Yakubu met with the RECs to mark the beginning of a month-long review of the 2023 general election.

According to him, following the conclusion of investigations by the Police, the Commission will commence legal actions against Ari and 215 other electoral offenders.






     

     

    “I can confirm that the Nigeria Police concluded its investigation of the conduct of our c State and submitted the case file to us. Appropriate action will be taken in a matter of days, and Nigerians will be fully informed.” Yakubu stated.

    He noted that INEC had taken administrative actions against some RECs who failed to discharge tasks assigned to them during the polls.

    The ICIR also reported in April that former President Muhammadu Buhari approved the Adamawa REC’s suspension after he illegally declared the winner of the state governorship election while the collation of results had yet to conclude.

    According to Electoral Act (2022), the Returning Officer for the election, rather than the REC, has the power to declare the winner of an election.

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