Lawyer hails INEC over investigation of Adamawa REC

By Adeyemi Adeleye

A Lagos-based lawyer and public affairs analyst, Mr Jide Ologun, has applauded INEC’s stance on the controversies that trailed Adamawa Governorship Election and the outcome.

Ologun praised the electoral umpire for its call on the police to investigate the Adamawa Resident Electoral Commissioner (REC), Mr Hudu Yunusa-Ari, over the controversy.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that INEC on Tuesday declared the incumbent Gov. Ahmadu Fintiri, the winner of the poll characterised by controversies.

Fintiri’s victory came two days after INEC voided an initial result announced by Yunusa-Ari, who declared the APC Candidate, Sen. Aisha Dahiru (Binani), the winner, before conclusion of the process.

The declaration by the REC, which generated reactions, was overruled by the INEC headquarters.

The commission subsequently suspended Yunusa-Ari for usurping the powers of the state returning officer.

On Tuesday, INEC added that it would write to the Inspector-General of Police Usman Baba and the Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Mr Boss Mustapha, for investigation of Yunusa-Ari over unwholesome behaviour.

Speaking with NAN on Wednesday on the development, Ologun said that INEC was proactive.

He said that there should be consequences for abuse of office.

According to him, it is commendable that the REC has been summoned to Abuja by INEC for interrogations and investigations.

“Public officers are expected to operate by the rule of law; it is not the responsibility of the REC to announce the result but that of the accredited returning officer.

“There should be consequences for abuse of office to prevent breaches,” he said.

Ologun said that INEC’s mission was to serve as an independent and effective electoral management body committed to the conduct of free, fair and credible elections for sustainable democracy.

Evaluating the Adamawa Supplementary Election, the analyst said that the REC’s action fell short of standards.

Ologun said that Section 15 (5) of the 1999 Constitution (as amended) provided that the state should abolish all corrupt practices and abuse of power.

“Such a breach has a high potential of activating societal disorder and threaten democratic decorum.

“Such a personality should be subject to accountability.

“It is expected that INEC should allow the votes of the electorate to count,” Ologun added. (NAN)