Senator Ishaku Abbo has stated that the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) does not have the power to declare the collation of results in Adamawa State null and void, News About Nigeria reports.
Speaking on Channels Television’s Sunrise Daily program, the Senator representing the Adamawa North Senatorial District pointed out that the Electoral Act prohibits INEC from taking such an action.
The INEC had suspended the collation of the Adamawa State supplementary governorship election, despite the results declared for 10 of 20 local government areas (LGAs) in the election showing Governor Ahmadu Fintiri in an early lead.
The electoral umpire had explained that an earlier declaration of an overall winner “is null, void, and of no effect.”
However, Senator Abbo, who is a member of the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC), argued that INEC’s proclamation was insignificant because it was not supported by the Electoral Act.
He insisted that INEC cannot nullify an election that has been announced because it lacks the power to do so.
The Adamawa State supplementary governorship election had been conducted on March 18, 2023, and was declared inconclusive due to the margin of lead between the two leading candidates being less than the number of cancelled votes.
A supplementary election was held on April 15, 2023, to determine the winner between the People’s Democratic Party’s (PDP) Governor Fintiri and the APC’s Aishatu Dahiru.
Meanwhile, INEC has suspended its Resident Electoral Commissioner REC in Adamawa, Hudu Yunusa Ari.
The action followed the REC’s controversial pronouncement on Sunday after the supplementary election.
Although only Returning Officers have the responsibility of announcing results, Ari declared the All Progressives Congress, APC, governorship candidate, Aisha Dahiru Binani, the winner.
On Monday, the national headquarters of the electoral umpire ordered Ari to stay away from the commission’s office in Yola, the state capital.