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Declaration of Binani: Confusion as INEC Invites REC, Others to Abuja, Suspends Collation of Results

• Declaration by REC is null, void and of no effect, says commission

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Confusion has trailed the declaration on Sunday of Senator Aisha Dahiru, popularly called Binani, as the winner of the Adamawa Governorship supplementary election.

After Prof. Hudu Yunus Ari, the Resident Electoral Commissioner of Adamawa made the declaration, he has been summoned by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) headquarters to Abuja.

He was summoned with others, including the Electoral Officer, just as INEC suspended the collation of results of the supplementary election.

The collation had been adjourned till 11 am after results from 10 out of the 20 Local Government Areas had been declared, but an hour before the scheduled time, Ari announced the final result, which was greeted with shouts, such as “No, no”, and “How, how”, by the opposition.

However, Barr. Festus Okoye, National Commissioner, Information and Voter Education of INEC, on the commission’s Twitter account, reacted swiftly.

“The attention of the Commission has been drawn to a purported declaration of winner in the Adamawa Governorship election by the Resident Electoral Commissioner (REC) even when the process has clearly not been concluded.

“The action of the REC is a usurpation of the power of the Returning Officer. It is null, void and of no effect.

“Consequently, the collation of results of the supplementary election is hereby suspended. The REC, Returning Officer and all involved are hereby invited to the Commission’s Headquarters in Abuja immediately.

“Detailed statement to follow shortly,” Okoye said.

Incumbent Governor Ahmadu Fintiri of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), was said to be leading before Ari declared Binani of the All Progressives Congress (APC), as the winner.

The March 18 governorship election in the state was declared inconclusive by INEC, following the cancellation of the election in 69 polling units, over reported incidents of violence and overvoting.

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