By: IFEOMA NWOVU
Justice Inyang Okoro who read the lead judgement of the Five-Man Panel of Justices, dismissed the appeal by the governorship candidate of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Aisha Dahiru.
While dismissing her appeal for lacking in merit, Justice Inyang Okoro held that the act of the Resident Electoral Commissioner, REC, Hudu Ari, was an act of irresponsibility and criminality.
Justice Okoro further held that the Electoral Act gives the responsibility of who to declare results, and this power exclusively rests on the returning officer.
The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) had on March 20, 2023 declared the Adamawa governorship election inconclusive.
INEC’s returning officer, Mele Lamido, had announced that Fintiri scored 421,524 votes while Binani polled 390, 275.
He said the margin between the two top candidates was less than the total number of potential voters in 69 polling units where elections were cancelled.
Following the declaration of the election as inconclusive, the electoral body fixed April 15 for the conduct of the supplementary election.
Controversy ensued during collation after the REC, Hudu Yunusa-Ari, declared Binani the winner of the poll. Yunusa-Ari announced Binani as the winner in the absence of the returning officer.
The development forced INEC to declare the announcement null and void. It thereafter summoned the REC to its headquarters in Abuja, while the collation of results continued.
The final results showed that Binani scored 398,788 votes, while Fintiri secured 430,861 votes to win the election.
After the election, Yunusa-Ari was suspended, arrested and handed over to police for prosecution.