Suspended Adamawa State Resident Electoral Commissioner (REC), Hudu Yunusa Ari has revealed why he declared All Progressives Congress (APC) candidate Aishatu Ahmed (Binani) as the winner against the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) candidate and incumbent governor of the state, Ahmadu Fintiri.
He stated this in a letter to the Inspector General of Police, explaining his role in the controversial April 16 announcement of the governorship election results.
In the letter, which was copied to the chairman of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) and the director-general of the Department of State Services (DSS), Ari stated that he acted within the law to avert impending danger from the delay in announcing the results.
He realised that the results brought by the presiding officers from the 69 polling units, which he did not sign, differed from those uploaded on the INEC Result Viewing (IReV) portal.
Ari cited the risks he faced during the election, including attempts to replace him as the collation officer with the administrative secretary, threats by candidates to cause mayhem, commissioners appointing ‘illegal collation officers’, and his house being surrounded by policemen from the Government House.
He stated, “It was based on this that I compiled all the polling unit results and declared the winner of the election based on the highest number of valid votes scored by the candidate of the APC.
“I had the breakdown of the valid votes scored by the two leading candidates in the supplementary election, using the results from the polling units as collated into all relevant forms EC8B, C, D and E respectively by properly and legally appointed and recognised collation officers and my humble self as the Adamawa State Chief Collation Officer and Resident Electoral Commissioner (REC).
“Prior to the declaration, there was an intelligence report made available to me that the two national commissioners were at the Government House, Yola at 8:31 pm on April 15, 2023 and held a meeting with Governor Ahmadu Umaru Fintiri.”
Ari explained that immediately after the declaration, some PDP supporters attacked two INEC commissioners and the returning officer for allegedly failing to deliver Governor Fintiri.