The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has denied allegation of colluding with Adamawa state government to rig the governorship election in favour of Governor Ahmadu Fintiri.
Recall that while denying allegation of giving out a N2 billion bribe to an INEC official for her to be announced as winner of election, Aisha ‘Binani’ Dahiru, candidate of the All Progressives Congress (APC) alleged that some INEC officials paid a “nocturnal visit” to the government house before Ahmadu Fintiri, candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), was declared the winner of the poll on Tuesday, April 18.
Reacting to the allegation made by Binani, INEC stated that such meeting didn’t hold and that it appointed and retained only one returning officer for the governorship election who also doubled as the state collation officer for the presidential election.
The statement from the electoral umpire read;
“Like all Returning Officers nationwide, he was issued with a letter of appointment by the Commission and the Resident Electoral Commissioner (REC) in Adamawa State was duly informed. The list of Collation Officers was also forwarded to the State with every page of the list personally endorsed by the Chairman of the Commission well ahead of the arrival of the National Commissioners.
“Similarly, the same Press Statement created the impression that the national headquarters of the Commission specifically targetted Adamawa State in its deployment of National Commissioners and other officials with the sole intention of influencing the outcome of the supplementary election held on Saturday 25th April 2023 and sidelining the REC. Nothing can be further from the truth.
“For the record, it has been the standard policy and practice of the Commission to deploy National Commissioners, RECs and other staff from the headquarters or neighbouring States for supplementary or off-cycle elections where doing so is considered necessary.
“In the case of Adamawa State where supplementary governorship election was held in 69 polling units, two National Commissioners were deployed while for Kebbi State involving 142 polling units, three National Commissioners were deployed. Similarly, one National Commissioner each was deployed to Sokoto, Zamfara, Imo, Rivers, Ekiti and Ogun States.
“This has been the standard practice of the Commission of which all RECs are informed in advance. Therefore, Adamawa State was not specifically targeted. In all other States, the RECs worked cooperatively with the National Commissioners except in Adamawa State for reasons that are now obvious to all.
“The public is advised to discountenance these insinuations as nothing more than a claptrap. We also advise those behind the mischief to desist forthwith as such fabrications have endangered the lives of our officials (both ad hoc and regular) engaged in legitimate election duties. We expect well-meaning citizens to act within the bounds of propriety and decency.”