Drama as ‘wrong’ INEC official declares Binani winner of Adamawa gov. election

Aisha Binani 2

Aisha Dahiru, known as Binani

The INEC Resident Electoral Commissioner (REC) in Adamawa State, Hudu Ari, on Sunday bypassed the law to declare Aisha Dahiru, popularly called Binani, as the winner of the governorship election in the state.

Daily Trust reported that Mr Ari made the declaration Sunday morning amidst chaos at the collation center in Yola.

A video of Mr. Ari announcing Binani the winner has since gone viral.

However, according to the electoral law, the announcement should have been made by the returning officer of the election, who is a different person, usually an academic appointed by INEC for that purpose.

“We’ve received reports of an illegal declaration of results by the @inecnigeria REC for #Adamawa in violation of S 64 & 65 Electoral Act 2022 & Part 3, INEC guidelines which vests the power to declare results solely on a Returning officer appointed by INEC,” prominent election observation group, Yiaga Africa, wrote on Twitter.

“We call on @inecnigeria to nullify the illegal declaration, suspend the REC for Adamawa state and take urgent actions to protect the integrity of the process.”

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Mr. Ari had earlier adjourned the collation to 11 a.m. Sunday but announced the winner an hour before the scheduled time.

As of 1 a.m., before the adjournment, only results of relevant polling units in 10 out of 20 local governments had been announced with the PDP candidate, Governor Ahmadu Fintiri, still in the lead.

Binani, the candidate of Nigeria’s ruling party, All Progressives Congress (APC) seeks to become the first woman to be elected state governor in Nigeria.

The herculean task Binani faces after the main election as she trailed Mr. Fintiri with over 30,000 votes, and needed about 90 percent of the votes cast in the rerun election held Saturday.

The rerun election was held in 69 polling units in the 20 local governments in the state, with less than 40,000 eligible voters.

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