Thursday, February 22, 2024

Suspended Adamawa REC ignored summons, location unknown – INEC

The Independent National Electoral Commission has disclosed that it has no information of the whereabouts of the suspended Resident Electoral Commissioner of Adamawa State, Hudu Ari.

The commission disclosed this after his action during the supplementary governorship election in Adamawa.

INEC National Commissioner, Festus Okoye disclosed this on Friday while speaking on a live television programme.

The announcement of the Adamawa supplementary election generated controversy after Ari announced Aisha Binani as winner of the poll, while collation had not yet been concluded.

The electoral umpire summoned Ari to its headquarters in Abuja.

The commission reported Ari’s action to President Muhammadu Buhari on Thursday and his suspension was approved by the President, until the completion of an investigation by the Inspector General of Police on the matter.

“We don’t know where he is because, after this particular incident, the commission wrote to him and also called him on the phone. He never returned any of the calls; he never answered any of the calls.

“We asked him to report to the commission on Sunday, but we didn’t see him. We asked him to report on Monday, but we didn’t see him. So, up till this moment, he has not reported and we don’t know his whereabouts,” Okoye said.

Okoye added that it was the responsibility of the police to declare Ari wanted for failing to report to the commission or answer its calls.

“Well, that is the responsibility of the Nigeria Police. If they feel that his presence is absolutely needed during the investigation and he is nowhere to be found, it is their prerogative and discretion to declare him wanted.

“We wrote to the Inspector General of Police and Secretary to the Government of the Federation. We have received a response from the Inspector General of Police and they have already commenced an investigation.

“My understanding is that the moment the Inspector General of Police concludes the investigation regarding the REC and every other individual involved and a prima facie case is established against the REC, the file will be made available to the commission and the commission will begin prosecution of the REC,” he said.

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