Home News AS INEC Foot-drags . . . Fintiri, Binani Trade Tackles Over Alleged...

AS INEC Foot-drags . . . Fintiri, Binani Trade Tackles Over Alleged Rigging, Intimidation In Adamawa Polls

The Adamawa State governorship race intensified yesterday as the incumbent governor and Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) candidate, Ahmadu Umaru Fintiri, and the All Progressives Congress (APC) candidate, Sen Aishatu Binani, accused each other of plots to rig the ongoing election.

Binani called on the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to review the election results in 16 local government areas, saying results were altered in favour of the PDP governor in those areas.

She further called on INEC to cancel the election in Fufore local government area because there are three different results from the council area.

In a counter-claim, Fintiri dismissed Binani’s call for the March 18 governorship to be reviewed, adding that her allegations of malpractices are unfounded.

The counter-allegations come against the backdrop of stalemate in the election collation process as INEC declared the governorship election in the state inconclusive.

Although final results tallied by INEC showed that Governor Fintiri scored the highest votes, INEC said the cancelled votes were more than the margin of victory between Fintiri and Binani.

At the end of the official tally of results, Fintiri led Binani with a margin of over 30,000 votes.

The incumbent governor scored 421,524 votes while Mrs Dahiru won 390,275 votes.

A new date will be fixed for re-run elections in areas where elections could not hold in the state.

Reacting, however, the chief press secretary to the INEC chairman, Rotimi Oyekanmi told LEADERSHIP yesterday that the Commission will take the appropriate decision on the polls soon.

But speaking to LEADERSHIP yesterday, Binani said, “The long wait for the Independent national Electoral Commission (INEC) is normal. I am hopeful of victory and not in any way discouraged by the long wait by INEC. I know that as an independent body, INEC may want to ensure it goes through all the necessary processes to ensure that the election turns out to be credible.

“I am constantly in touch with my supporters, especially the good people of Adamawa State who came out en masse and voted for me overwhelmingly. They’re on the alert to see that only the correct and original results are declared at the end of the day. I am hopeful of winning, we’re hopeful of winning.

“I want INEC to review results of 16 LGAs where we believe that such results were altered in favour of the PDP and Governor Umaru Fintiri. I am also pleading with INEC to cancel the election in Fufore LGA and order a rerun. As it is, there are three different results for Fufore LGA.

“And they cooked results do not reflect the will of the people. It was in that same place that INEC official and the collation officer were detained from 10am to 10pm on March 19, 2023 and forced to write results in favour of the PDP and Fintiri. I’m calling on INEC to invoke Section 65 of the Electoral Act (2022) in view of the reported incidences of irregularities,” she said.

On his part, Governor Fintiri described the allegation that March 25 governorship should be reviewed over malpractices as unfounded.

Fintiri said there were not enough reasons for that as the commission had earlier reviewed the poll result by depending on results from INEC Result Viewing (IReV) portal, ignoring the summary results from the collation sheet.

Speaking during a programme on Channels TV yesterday, Fintiri insisted that INEC downloaded the results of Fufore polls on the IReV portal.

When asked his stance on the calls to review the election, he said: “Why should it be reviewed? The results of the presidential election were not reviewed. Why should the Adamawa governorship election be reviewed? Why does she (Aisha Binani) want the results to be reviewed?

“The INEC did not depend on the summary of the collation sheet but downloaded the results of Fufore on IReV; what kind of review do they want again? They went to the IReV and downloaded the results; I also went to the portal and downloaded the results through my agents and it was the same.”

He said those claiming that the polls were not free and fair are “pathological liars.”

Fintiri said the election was smooth and perfect in the same manner the state conducted the Presidential and National Assembly elections in Madagali and Michika, adding that the people of the state want him, and that was why he won in 15 local governments out of 21.

“If there is an opportunity for someone to contest for governorship for the third time. I think I am one of such governors. I will win the election three times,” he said.

When asked if the polls were marred by violence, he said, “It is not out of place if you maintain your strongholds. I have maintained Madagali and Michika for the National Assembly and presidential and I got the same results during the governorship elections.”

Fintiri said there was no voter suppression and violence in the state.

“When people lose an election, they can blame it on anything. You are not new to complaints of Nigerians when they lose elections,” he said.

He said he felt the INEC Resident Electoral Commissioner in the state was compromised.

“He sold out,” he said, adding that he was allegedly caught on tape.

“He did not deny it even before journalists. The man was caught in the woman’s house on Sunday from 3am to 6am with her husband. He was led by the former administrative secretary who retired five days after the presidential election. He has security people in his house. He did not act in a civilised manner. He did not deny it,” Fintiri said.

The governor urged INEC not to contemplate not using technology for polls, adding that the Commission should continue to be fair, and maintain its credibility.

He alleged that the REC was planning to parade two different results which are different from the one brought by the returning officer.

On how INEC knew that there was over-voting, he said the Commission returned to its portal and saw it.

“They discovered 69 polling units were canceled because of over-voting, and the irony is, not all the 69 polling units that election took place.

“There was a conspiracy by the REC. There was a complete ward that election did not hold in Numan and in the INEC server, you will find out that, in Adamawa, 225 wards election results are on the server, with exception of one. And that one is a ward of Numan LGA. The materials arrived around 3pm. They said they couldn’t hold the election that day and the INEC official slept there.

“They were looking for the REC and he refused to give them the permission to do that,” he said.

Fintiri said he is confident of victory with a lead of over 31,000 votes.

Earlier, in his response to Binani’s allegations, the chief press secretary to the governor, Mr Humwashi Wonosikou, advised Binani to concede defeat, as it is glaring she is not going to win the governorship election in the state.

Wonosikou denied Binani’s claim that in Madagali, Michika and Hong LGAs, House of Assembly elections results were announced in favour of Governor Fintiri.




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