Thursday, February 22, 2024

INEC files six counts against suspended Adawama REC

The Independent National Electoral Commission has charged the Resident Electoral Commissioner in Adamawa State, Hudu Ari, to court.

The police had arrested Ari over his conduct during the governorship election in Adamawa State. He was subsequently granted bail.

A statement on Thursday by the National Commissioner and Chairman, Information and Voter Education Committee of the commission, Festus Okoye, said it had reviewed the case file sent to the commission by the police and had filed a six-count charge against Ari.

He added that the case would be heard at the Adamawa State High Court on July 12, 2023.

The statement read, “INEC held its regular weekly meeting today, Thursday, July 6, 2023, and discussed, among other issues, the progress with the prosecution of electoral offenders.

“It would be recalled that at the meeting with the Resident Electoral Commissioners two days ago on Tuesday, July 4, 2023, the Commission confirmed the receipt of case files from the Nigeria Police following the conclusion of the investigation into alleged electoral offences during the 2023 General Election, including the one involving the Resident Electoral Commissioner deployed to Adamawa State, Hudu 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 the 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 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 12th July 2023 for commencement of trial.”

He, however, said the commission was working with the Nigerian Bar Association for the diligent prosecution of other cases.

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