Suspended Resident Electoral Commission (REC) in Adamawa State, Hudu Yunusa Ari says he never regretted announcing Aisha ‘Binani’ Dahiru of the All Progressives Congress (APC) as the winner of the 2023 governorship election in the state.
Ari, who stated this in an interview with BBC Hausa, asserted that he acted within the confines of relevant laws before declaring the APC candidate as the Governor-elect before his decision was declared null and void by the national arm of the electoral body in Abuja.
Ari had courted controversy after the supplementary election in Adamawa State on April 15, 2023 when he announced Binani as the winner of the dramatic poll while collation of results was ongoing.
The situation prompted INEC to nullify Ari’s decision and suspended him while President Muhammad Buhari ordered full investigation on the electoral commissioner and the security personnel that were around him when he made the declaration.
INEC subsequently concluded the election and announced the incumbent governor, Ahmadu Fintiri of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) as the authentic winner of the drama-filled poll.
Security agencies had also been ordered to arrest and prosecute the embattled REC whose whereabouts is unknown since the controversy started over two weeks ago.
Speaking from hiding with the BBC Hausa, Ari said, “I never demanded any gratification from either of Binani or Fintiri. None of the duo sent anything to me; if they have done so by now they will be demanding their monies back.”
On why he announced Binani as “winner” in the first instance, Ari said, “Votes polled by candidates were disclosed, I don’t have the papers with me here but both in the main and supplementary elections, Binani scored 428, 173 while Fintiri got 422, 303 votes.
“I have no regrets at all as I acted under the law; it is the law that warranted what I did and it shall absolve me.”
“I will surely turn myself in to the police. Before, there was no summon from the police but now there is one. I will soon come out from hiding,” the embattled REC stated.