The Independent National Electoral Commission has filed a six-count charge against the suspended Resident Electoral Commissioner in Adamawa State, Hudu Yunusa Ari.
The charge was filed by INEC at the Adamawa State High Court, Yola.
National Commissioner and Chairman, Information and Voter Education Committee, Festus Okoye, who disclosed this in a statement, said the commission reached the decision to prosecute Ari after its weekly meeting held in Abuja on Thursday.
Recall that INEC had suspended Ari for the role he played during the collation of the Adamawa State supplementary governorship election results.
The embattled REC was accused of usurping the duties of the state governorship election returning officer by announcing the All Progressives Congress candidate, Aishatu Dahiru, popularly known as Binani as the winner of the governorship election.
Though INEC voided the declaration, it also summoned the REC over the controversial declaration.
At the same time, former President Muhammadu Buhari ordered a full investigation into the electoral commissioner and the security personnel present at the time of the declaration.
Following this, INEC concluded the election and announced Ahmadu Fintiri of the People’s Democratic Party as the authentic winner of the poll.
Security agencies subsequently arrested Ari and presented his case file to the commission for subsequent decision.
Okoye in the statement confirmed that the commission had received case files from the Nigeria Police following the conclusion of an investigation into alleged electoral offences during the 2023 General Election.
He stated: “It would be recalled that at the meeting with the Resident Electoral Commissioners (RECs) two days ago on Tuesday, July 4 2023, the Commission confirmed the receipt of case files from the Nigeria Police following the conclusion of an investigation into alleged electoral offences during the 2023 General Election, including the one involving the Resident Electoral Commissioner (REC) deployed to Adamawa State, Barr. Hudu Yunusa Ari. The Commission also assured Nigerians of immediate action on the matter.
“As provided by Section 145(1) of the Electoral Act 2022, an offence committed under the Act shall be triable in a Magistrate Court or a High Court of a State in which the offence is committed, or the Federal Capital Territory, Abuja. Furthermore, Section 145(2) of the Act provides that a prosecution under the Act shall be undertaken by legal officers of the Commission or any legal practitioner appointed by it.
“Having reviewed the case file from the Police which established a prima facie case against Barr. Hudu Yunusa Ari, the Commission has filed a six-count charge against him at the Adamawa State High Court sitting in Yola. Consequently, the Court has fixed Wednesday, July 12, 2023, for the commencement of the trial.
“Meanwhile, the Commission is working with the Nigerian Bar Association (NBA) for the diligent prosecution of other cases.”