Poll: INEC Debunks Binani’s Allegations, Says Officials Didn’t Meet Adamawa Govt
The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has denied allegations that its officials visited the Adamawa government house during the supplementary governorship election in the state.
The denial was contained in a statement by the commission’s spokesperson, Festus Okoye.
Recalled that INEC’s Resident Electoral Commissioner (REC), in Adamawa State, Hudu Yunusa-Ari, had declared Binani of the All Progressives Congress the winner. However, after the declaration, rumors claimed that Binani gave INEC officials N2 billion to be announced as the winner.
Binani denied the report, noting that she would never do anything to subvert the democratic process, alleging that some INEC national officials paid “a nocturnal visit” to the state government house.
Reacting, INEC spokesperson Festus Okoye said Binani’s allegation was false, stating that the commission does not join issues with partisan actors, particularly where no evidence has been provided.
‘To set the record straight, no such visit or meeting took place let alone the compilation of any purported list of collation and returning officers,” the statement read.
The commission said it appointed and retained only one returning officer for the governorship election who also doubled as the state collation officer for the presidential election.
“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,” the statement reads.
“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 neighboring 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.”