The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has said it does not know the whereabouts of the suspended Adamawa State Resident Electoral Commissioner (REC), Hudu Yunusa-Ari.
The National commissioner and chairman Information and Voter Education Committee of the electoral body, Festus Okoye, who revealed this on Channels Television’s Sunrise Daily on Friday, stated that the leadership of the Commission summoned the embattled REC to appear at the headquarters but failed to do and also did not pick up his phone when he was called.
According to him, the electoral body cannot declare Yunusa-Ari wanted because it is the duty of the Nigeria Police Force (NPF) to declare him wanted if he is on the run.
Okoye said the Commission had written to the Inspector-General of Police, Usman Akali Baba, to investigate the suspended REC for possible prosecution.
He added that INEC also wrote the Secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF), Boss Mustapha, with a view to acquainting President Muhammadu Buhari with the unwholesome activities of the REC and possibly reviewing his appointment.
Meanwhile on Thursday, the commissioner denied claimed that officials deployed to conduct the Adamawa State governorship election undermined the electoral process.
In a statement in Abuja, he further denied allegations that its officials compromised after a “discreet nocturnal visit” to the state government house.
Information Nigeria had reported that the governorship candidate of the All Progressives Congress (APC) in the March 18 governorship election and April 15 supplementary polls, Aishatu Dahiru (Binani) alleged that INEC officials deployed for the election compromised and undermined the electoral process.
Binani had said, “What happened in Adamawa was an unsuccessful attempt to subvert the will of the people. The REC was illegally told to stand down by two INEC national commissioners from Abuja who were supposed to be in Adamawa in a supervisory capacity.
“Even more curious is the nocturnal visit of some INEC national officers to the Adamawa State government house and the bizarre declaration the same day after the visit that they have taken over the collation through the backdoor with the collation and returning officers selected by the governor of Adamawa.”
Though INEC did not mention Binani or any other candidate in the statement, the commission said such allegations were lies and should be ignored.
The statement reads in part, “Ordinarily, 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.
Such a meeting would have been contrary to the oath of neutrality that we all swore to.
“Moreover, every conscientious observer would have noticed that the commission 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 personally endorsed by the chairman of the commission well ahead of the arrival of the national commissioners.”