Friday 21 April 2023

Was Adamawa REC Flown Out In Private Jet After Declaring Binani’s Winner Of Guber Poll?

Hudu Ari, the Residential Electoral Commissioner (REC) in Adamawa State suspended for violating the provision of the Electoral Act, 2022 was allegedly flown out of Yola, the state capital, in a private jet on Sunday, according to a report by SaharaReporters.

According to the online newspaper, investigation revealed that Yunusa-Ari was allegedly flown out of the city immediately after he illegally and wrongfully announced Aishatu Dahiru Binani, the candidate of All Progressives Congress (APC) as the winner of the governorship election in the state.

This followed a supplementary governorship election held in the state on Saturday.

Yunusa-Ari on Sunday declared Binani as the winner of the poll even though the collation of results of the supplementary election had yet to be completed.

He bizarrely allocated 221,303 votes to the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) candidate and the incumbent governor, Ahmadu Umaru Fintiri, which represented a 50 per cent shortfall from his initial 400,000 votes.

On March 20, 2023, the Adamawa State governorship election had been declared inconclusive, with Governor Fintiri leading with 421,524.

Declaring the polls inclusive, the returning officer, Prof Mohammed Mele, said the election was inconclusive because the number of cancelled votes exceeded the margin of victory.

When collation resumed after the supplementary election on Saturday, April 15, the returning officer, Mele, after the collating results from about 10 local government areas, adjourned collation to 11:00 am on Sunday.

However, as early as 9:00 am, the Resident Electoral Commissioner, Yunusa-Ari, in company with the police commissioner in charge of election duties, Mohammed Barde, and some other heads of security agencies, announced Binani as the winner.

The Independent National Electoral Commission, however, swiftly nullified the announcement and invited the REC to its headquarters in Abuja.

On Thursday evening, President Muhammadu Buhari approved Yunusa-Ari’s immediate suspension pending the completion of an investigation by the Inspector General of Police on his conduct/actions during the election.

The President, through a statement by the Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Boss Mustapha, also directed his immediate prosecution, if found liable.

However, SaharaReporters findings revealed that Yunusa-Ari was flown to Abuja from Yola immediately after announcing Binani as the winner of the election.

SaharaReporters could not ascertain the identity of the owner of the Raytheon Hawker 800XP, which allegedly conveyed the embattled REC to Abuja as further investigation only showed it was registered to an ‘unknown owner’.

Investigation showed that the private aircraft left Yola at exactly 12.58 pm on Sunday, shortly after Yunusa-Ari made the announcement, and touched down in Abuja at exactly 1.38 pm, after flying for 40 minutes.

The aircraft left Murtala Muhammed Airport in Lagos at 7.09 pm on Thursday, April 20, 2023 and was last seen near Ibadan, Oyo State at 7.28 pm.

“After the illegal declaration, the REC was flown out of Yola in a private jet,” a source confirmed to SaharaReporters.





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