The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) has demanded the arrest of the Adamawa State Resident Electoral Commissioner (REC), Mallam Hudu Yunusa Ari, for declaring the purported result of the gubernatorial election in the state even before the conclusion of collation.
Addressing a press conference at the national secretariat of the party in Abuja on Sunday, the National Publicity Secretary of the party, Debo Ologunagba, who made the demand also alleged that the PDP is in possession of a confessional statement affirming that some people received the sum of N2 billion to compromise the election.
He said the REC should be arrested “for making such illegal declaration in criminal usurpation of the duties and powers of the Returning Officer, Prof Mohammed Mele, while collation was ongoing.”
Ologunagba asserted that the attempt to steal the mandate of people amounts to visiting “violence” on them
He warned that crisis in Adamawa State can only be averted with the declaration of the candidate of the party, Governor Ahmadu Fintiri, who it says is the true winner of the gubernatorial election.
The party spokesman said: “I believe that INEC headquarters is sufficiently embarrassed by now. And if they are, they should stop this violence on the conscience of Adamawa people because violence needs not only be physical.
“When you continue to provoke the emotions of people and begin to disregard their feelings, people who went up to the wards and polling units to vote and they voted and then somebody takes it away, what violence can be more than that?
“Violence to their conscience, violence to their integrity, violence to their own sensibilities. I think this must stop.
“We are calling on INEC right now to conclude Adamawa supplementary election and declare the candidate that had won, the Governor, Ahmadu Fintiri.”
Ologunagba had, in a statement earlier, called on the people of Adamawa State, Nigerians and the International Community to disregard the purported declaration of the candidate of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Aisha Binani, as winner of the Adamawa State governorship election.
The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has already disowned the declaration by the REC and directed him to report to the national headquarters for his actions while collation of results was yet to be concluded.
The PDP spokesman further alleged: “It is even more absurd that the Adamawa State REC did not only usurp the powers of the Returning Officer but attempted to declare a winner without figures in reckless violation of the provisions of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria 1999 (as amended), the Electoral Act, 2022, INEC Guidelines as well as the sensibility of the people of Adamawa State.
“This reprehensible conduct of the Adamawa State REC confirms the earlier alarms by the PDP which demanded for his immediate removal from Adamawa State.
“We call on the Inspector General of Police to immediately arrest Mallam Yunusa Ari and make him face the full wrath of the law for his conduct.”
The PDP noted the pronouncement by INEC Headquarters that the action of Mallam Yunusa Ari is “null, void and of no effect.”
The party, therefore, demanded that “INEC headquarters should immediately direct the Returning Officer to conclude collation, announce the results from the Polling Units and declare our candidate, Governor Ahmadu Umaru Fintiri as winner, having scored the majority of lawful votes cast.
“From the results already collated across the 69 Polling Units where the supplementary elections held and which are on the INEC Result Viewing (IReV) portal, Governor Fintiri clearly won the election,” the statement declared.
It also demanded that INEC should without further delay announce the results as already collated from the Polling Units and declare Governor Fintiri as winner.
“Anything short of this will not be accepted by our Party and the people of Adamawa State,”