The Governorship Candidate of the All Progressives Congress in the March 18 election in Adamawa State, Sen. Aishatu Binani, has accused the Independent National Electoral Commission of frustrating her petition at the tribunal.
Binani is challenging the declaration of Adamu Fintiri of the Peoples Democratic Party as the winner of the election at the Adamawa Governorship Election Petition Tribunal.
According to the former senator, INEC was being biased by disregarding an order of court and attempting to arrest and detain the suspended Resident Electoral Commissioner, Mr Hudu Ari.
She claimed that the plan to arrest Ari was a ploy to prevent him from testifying for her at the ongoing hearing of the tribunal.
She alleged that INEC wanted the suspended REC apprehended and kept out of circulation to make him unavailable as a witness for her.
Briefing newsmen in Abuja on Saturday on behalf of Binani, Alhaji Mustapha Umar-Madawaki, the APC Returning Officer in the March 18 governorship election in the state, and the re- run of April 15, appealed to Nigerians to call INEC to order.
Umar-Madawaki said that the electoral umpire needed to be called to order to allow the APC candidate to reclaim her mandate freely given to her by the people of Adamawa.
The APC returning officer alleged that at the point of collation of results, INEC trained add- hoc workers were changed and mysteriously substituted by another group of staff.
According to him, the result of the unlawful change of add- hoc workers was the production of different election results from the one submitted by the authentic workers.
“To my mind, that is a major reason why INEC is working overtime, trying to prevent the former Adamawa REC from testifying before the tribunal.
“They are afraid of the revelations he would make.
“Their desperation is so brazen that Justice A.O Manji was forced to openly question INEC lawyer on why they are in a hurry to get Ari arrested while there is a clear court order against that.
Madawaki said that copies of text of the media briefing would be forwarded to embassies in Nigeria and Diplomatic Missions to keep them abreast in the battle to regain the alleged stolen mandate from Binani.
When the News Agency of Nigeria reached out to INEC for its reaction, Mr Festus Okoye, National Commissioner and Chairman, Information and Voter Education Committee said that the commission would not join issues with any individual or group over issues and matters pending in court.
“The Commission has operated and will continue to operate within the confines and ambit of the law.
”It is contemptuous to engage in public discourse of matters pending in Court.
“All courts of record are imbued with inherent power and jurisdiction to compel the appearance of any individual in court.
Any individual or group aggrieved over an issue can approach any of the courts and complain,” Okoye said.