Binani vs Fintri: Adamawa REC Yunusa Ari charged to court – INEC confirms


The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has confirmed the prosecution of Hudu Yunusa Ari, its Resident Electoral Commissioner (REC) deployed to Adamawa State during the 2023 governorship election.

Saga Gist recalls that Ari had announced Aisha Binani, the governorship candidate of the All Progressives Congress (APC), as the winner of the poll while collation was ongoing.

INEC had swiftly countered Ari’s action, after which it declared Governor Ahmadu Fintiri the winner of the election.

Following the conclusion of elections, INEC had charged Ari before an Adamawa State High Court on a six-count charge.

Ari’s prosecution was discussed during INEC’s weekly meeting on the prosecution of electoral offenders and was contained in a statement signed by the body’s spokesman, Festus Okoye.

A statement by Okoye reads: “It would be recalled that at the meeting with the Resident Electoral Commissioners(RECS) two days ago on Tuesday 4th July 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 (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 [tried] 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, 12th July 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.”

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