The hammer has finally fallen on Hudu Yunusa Ari, the controversial Resident Electoral Commissioner (REC) of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) in Adamawa State, involved in the ugly drama of unilaterally announcing Aisha Binani, winner of the state governorship election on Sunday.
INEC had quickly disowned him shortly after the drama unfolded at the state office of the commission, on the ground that he lacked the authority to make the announcement in clear usurpation of the functions of the Returning Officer (RO) appointed for that purpose.
In a letter dated April 17 by the Secretary to the Commission, Rose Oriaran-Anthony INEC asked the REC to stay away from the Commission’s office in Yola till further notice, adding that in the interim the Administrative Secretary of the Commission in the State should take charge of the affairs of the office with immediate effect.
The two paragraph letter titled: “Commission’s directive to stay away from INEC, Adamawa State” reads: “I hereby convey the Commission’s decision that you (Barr. Hudu Yunusa Ari), Resident Electoral Commissioner, Adamawa State should stay away from the Commission’s office in Adamawa State immediately until further notice.
“The Administrative Secretary has been directed to take full charge of INEC, Adamawa State with immediate effect. Please, accept the assurances of the Commission’s warm”
Festus Okoye, spokesman of INEC, who had apart from stating the position of the commission, on Sunday, which he said did not recognise the declaration Ari made, announced that the matter had reverted to Abuja where INEC would sit on the matter “as a commission,” to take decisions on the next step, described the latest step as “authentic.”
Okoye, National Commissioner in charge of Information and Voter Education, had also bemoaned the treatment given to one of his colleagues at the commission sayign: “If you see what is trending, two national commissioners were deployed to Adamawa State. One of them was brutalised, one of them was stripped naked. That will not be allowed to stand.
“The security agencies must unmask those who engaged in that particular act. They must be arrested, they must be investigated and they must be prosecuted. A national commissioner cannot be treated as if he or she is a common criminal. A former Vice Chancellor of Usman Dan Fodio University, a senior citizen was stripped naked and dragged. This commission will not allow that to stand.”