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Adamawa Guber Rerun: Detained REC claims innocence, denies bribery allegations

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The recently detained and suspended Resident Electoral Commissioner (REC) for Adamawa State, Hudu Yunusa-Ari, has denied allegations of collecting bribes from any candidate during the state supplementary governorship election. Despite being detained at the Force Headquarters by the police authorities for interrogation, Yunusa-Ari maintained his innocence and stood by his decision to declare the All Progressives Congress (APC) candidate, Aishatu Ahmed (Binani), as the winner against the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) candidate and governor of the state, Ahmadu Fintiri.

In a recent interview with the British Broadcasting Commission (BBC) monitored in Abuja, Yunusa-Ari explained that he acted within the law and had no regrets about his decision. He spoke in Hausa language and stated that he did not collect bribes from any candidate, adding that if he had, the candidate would be asking for a refund of the money. The REC emphasized that collecting bribes is prohibited by law and that the allegations against him were false.

Yunusa-Ari explained his role in the controversial April 16, 2023, announcement of the governorship election results, which favored Binani. He stated that he acted within the ambit of the law to prevent the delay in announcing the results. He realized that the results brought by the presiding officers from the 69 polling units, which he did not sign, differed from those uploaded on the INEC Result Viewing (IReV) portal. He compiled all the polling unit results and declared the winner of the election based on the highest number of valid votes scored by the candidate of the APC.

The Nigeria Police Force confirmed Yunusa-Ari’s arrest and detention. He was arrested when he honored the invitation before the Police committee investigating the circumstances that led to the announcement of Binani as the winner of the supplementary election when the process had not been concluded. The Force spokesman, CSP Olumuyiwa Adejobi, said that Yunusa-Ari is currently in police custody and is being grilled to ascertain the motives and motivations behind his alleged improper actions during the supplementary election in Adamawa State.

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