The suspended Resident Electoral Commissioner of the Independent National Electoral Commission in Adamawa State, Hudu-Yunusa Ari, has said he never regretted announcing Aisha Binani Dahiru of the All Progressives Congress as the winner of the 2023 governorship election in the state.
Speaking in an interview with BBC Hausa on Tuesday, Ari maintained that he acted in accordance with relevant laws in declaring the APC candidate as the governor-elect of the state before the declaration was overturned by the national headquarters of the electoral body in Abuja, according to a report by Channels TV.
The embattled REC sparked controversy after he announced Binani as the winner of the supplementary election in Adamawa State on April 15, 2023 while collation of results was still ongoing. INEC nullified Ari’s declaration and suspended him, while the President, Major General Muhammadu Buhari (retd.), ordered full investigation of the REC and the security officers that were around him when he made the declaration.
The electoral body subsequently concluded the election and announced the incumbent governor, Ahmadu Fintiri of the Peoples Democratic Party, as the authentic winner of the drama-filled poll. Security agencies had also been ordered to arrest and prosecute the embattled REC whose whereabouts had been unknown since the controversy started over two weeks ago.
“I never demanded any gratification from either of Binani or Fintiri. None of the duo sent anything to me; if they have done so by now they will be demanding their monies back,” Ari said, speaking from hiding with BBC Hausa. Asked why he announced Binani as “winner” in the first instance, the embattled REC said, “Votes polled by candidates were disclosed, I don’t have the papers with me here but both in the main and supplementary elections, Binani scored 428, 173 while Fintiri got 422, 303 votes.
“I have no regrets at all as I acted under the law; it is the law that warranted what I did and it shall absolve me.”
“I will surely turn myself in to the police. Before, there was no summon from the police but now there is one. I will soon come out from hiding.”