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ADAMAWA: INEC shifts emergency meeting to Tuesday

THE Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has shifted its emergency management meeting that was earlier fixed for today to tomorrow.

This was revealed today by the National Commissioner, Information and Voter Education Committee, Festus Okoye.

According to him, this was to ensure that some of the national commissioners and other officials who are either on field assignments or are coming from far distances arrive today ahead of the meeting tomorrow.

The meeting was fixed by the commission over the controversial declaration of winner of the Adamawa Statle supplementary by the now suspended Resident Electoral Commissioner (REC) Prof. Yunusa Hudu Ari.

The commission, however, overuled him and summoned him and others to Abuja.

Okoye also announced yesterday the suspension of the collation of the election results with immediate effect.

A national commissioner had told Daily Trust : “We are going to hold an emergency meeting tomorrow (Monday) during which a decision will be taken on the governorship election.”

He also frowned at the treatment meted out to their colleague in Yola, saying: “It was despicable that a national commissioner will be stripped naked. Where are the security operatives; there are a lot of questions begging for answers.”

Okoye however noted that Prof. Mele, who had the statutory responsibility to declare the results but was nowhere to be found during the controversy, had arrived Abuja.

He could not confirm the number of other officials that had arrived.

While the commission declared some polls inconclusive in the March 18 governorship and state assembly elections, it cancelled others due to irregularities and violence in some states including Adamawa and Kebbi states.

Before INEC suspended the collation of Saturday’s supplementary governorship election results in Adamawa State, the incumbent Governor Ahmadu Fintiri of the PDP was leading Senator Binani of the APC by over 1,000 votes in the results collated from about 11 local government areas.

However, in the result declared earlier on March 18, incumbent Governor Fintiri polled 421,524 votes, while his main rival, Binani scored 390,275.

But the state’s Collation Officer, Prof. Mohammed Mele, announced the cancellation of elections in 69 polling units (PUs) in Fufore LGA, which affected no fewer than 37,016 potential voters with PVCs in those units.

Though the final results showed that Fintiri scored the highest votes, INEC said the cancelled votes were more than the margin of victory between him and the runner-up, Binani and therefore, declared the governorship election in Adamawa State inconclusive.

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