The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) is set to conclude the collation of the Adamawa supplementary governorship election in Abuja.
Recall that the gubernatorial candidate of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Aisha Binani, was controversially declared the winner of the supplementary election on Sunday morning by the State Resident Electoral Commissioner, Hudu Yunusa.
Yunusa had walked into the collation center after the supplementary election was suspended on Saturday and announced Binani as the winner of the election.
But in a swift reaction, INEC rejected the results declared by the REC.
In a statement to journalists, INEC spokesperson, Festus Okoye, said: “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.”
A top official of the commission told Daily Trust that the commission held an emergency management meeting on Sunday following the controversy.
Although details of the meeting were still sketchy, a top official of INEC stated that while the results collation may be concluded at their headquarters in Abuja, the final declaration would definitely be done in Yola, the Adamawa State capital.
According to the source, the summoned Adamawa officials would be expected to come to Abuja with the original results sheets and other relevant documents.
Another national commissioner of INEC said the commission was appalled by what he called ‘the unilateral recklessness’ of the Adamawa REC.
He said: “We are yet to come to terms with the motivation behind his action. In the first place, he (REC) has no power to announce results. Such powers are vested in the INEC chairman who can assign whoever he deems fit.
“We are going to hold an emergency meeting tomorrow (Monday) during which a decision will be taken on the governorship election.”
The national commissioner also condemned the treatment meted out to their colleague in Yola, saying: “It was despicable that a national commissioner will be stripped naked. Where are the security operatives; there are a lot of questions begging for answers.”