The suspended Resident Electoral Commissioner for Adamawa State and lawyer, Hudu Yunusa Ari, has explained that he announced the results of 69 polling units in the April 15 supplementary election due to security pressure.
According to Daily Trust, this was stated by Ari in a letter to the Inspector General of Police outlining his involvement in the contentious announcement of the governorship election on April 16 that declared Aishatu Ahmed (Binani), a candidate for the All Progressives Congress, the winner over Ahmadu Fintiri, a candidate for the Peoples Democratic Party, and incumbent governor of the state.
The Independent National Electoral Commission chairman and the director-general of the Department of State Services were copied on Ari’s letter, in which he claimed that he acted legally to prevent an imminent threat from the delay in announcing the results, particularly after realizing that the results from the 69 polling units brought by the presiding officers, which he did not sign, were different from those posted on the INEC Result Viewing website.
As examples of the dangers he encountered, Ari mentioned attempts to replace him as the collation officer with the administrative secretary, threats made by candidates to cause trouble, commissioners appointing “illegal collation officers,” and police officers from the Government House surrounding his home.
“I combined all the polling unit results based on this,” he said, “and declared the winner of the election based on the largest number of valid votes received by the candidate of the APC.
“I had the breakdown of the valid votes cast for the two leading candidates in the supplementary election using the results from the polling places as collated into all pertinent forms EC8B, C, D, and E by duly appointed and recognized collation officers and my humble self as the Adamawa State Chief Collation Officer and Resident Electoral Commissioner, respectively.”
He added that before the proclamation, an intelligence report was made available to him stating that the two national commissioners met Governor Ahmadu Umaru Fintiri at 8:31 p.m. on April 15, 2023, in the Government House in Yola.
He claimed that following the declaration, some PDP supporters attacked two INEC commissioners and the returning officer for allegedly failing to deliver Governor Fintiri.
“It was alleged that the people beaten in the purported video wanted to subvert the rerun election in Adamawa State and undermine the will of the people as expressed through the ballot,” he added.