- PDP chieftain Anthony Ehilebo said those responsible for the illegal declaration of the APC governorship candidate, Aisha Binani, as the winner of the Adamawa Guber election should be brought to book
- Ehilebo claimed that Binani was the primary suspect in the false declaration, and she should have been arrested
- Meanwhile, INEC has intervened and declared the incumbent Governor, Ahmed Fintiri, as the authentic winner
Yola, Adamawa state - A Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) chieftain, and Chief Executive Officer of Atiku Live TV, Anthony Ehilebo has aired his opinion on the controversial announcement of the All Progressives Congress (APC) governorship candidate, Senator Aisha Dahiru Binani, as the winner of the Guber election.
The declaration came halfway into the collation of the result of the supplementary election, which was held on Saturday, April 15. Results were still being expected from about 10 local government areas when the REC went ahead to announce Binani as the winner.
It was observed that the Returning Officer for the election who was to make such an announcement had adjourned the exercise till 11am for its continuation but the REC pronounced Binani winner before the resumption.
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The announcement was made in the clear view of the security personnel mobilized to the place. This was greeted by a protest from the PDP and other observers who insisted the declaration was illegal.
INEC declares Hudu’s announcement null and void
Consequently, the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), in a statement by Fesus Okoye, INEC National Commissioner and Chairman of, Information and Voter Education Committee, in a statement insisted the declaration was null and void, denouncing the action of the REC and asking him to report at the INEC headquarters in Abuja immediately.
When the exercise resumed on Tuesday, April 18, after its suspension, INEC declared the incumbent Governor, Ahmed Fintiri as the winner of the poll.
But the actions of the REC and Binani, who also approached the court, have continued to ignite reactions across the country. Some believe that the REC action was treasonable and must not be treated lightly.
PDP chieftain Ehilebo reacts
Reacting, Ehilebo, who was a member of the PDP Campaign Council, told Legit.ng that immediate action was required to bring all those involved in the act directly or indirectly to book.
He said the primary suspect in the entire incident of the false declaration of the governorship result was Aisha Binani of the APC, stating that in less than 10 minutes of the illegal declaration, Binani was already on air to make her acceptance speech.
The PDP chieftain questioned the result Binani saw before making an acceptance speech or whether she did not know that the results were still being collated.
He also questioned whether Binani and others involved had no knowledge of whose responsibility it was to declare a winner.
Binani should have been arrested - Ehilebo
According to him, only a Returning Officer and not REC has the power to return a contestant elected.
"What has happened in Adamawa requires total and immediate action, and it must be specific to the several crimes committed. The first person that should have been arrested and should be in detention by now is Aisha Binani because she is the primary suspect responsible for this absurdity, criminality, and evil machination that just attempted to play out in Adamawa.
"So if you ask me to say those behind Hudu's behaviour of attempting to set a coup in an ongoing election and hijack it which is a treasonable offence, I will say, Binani cannot be left out of it.
"What Hudu attempted to do was to usurp state powers, powers not devoted to him. I have seen recalcitrant in the past, but I have never seen this type before," the PDP chieftain said.
Adamawa governorship election controversy: Ehilebo blames Buhari
Speaking further, Ehilebo blamed President Muhammadu Buhari for the development, saying the president had appointed politicians to INEC, which is now making things very difficult for the commission.
"If you remember, this is what we kicked against when Loretta Onochie was appointed as a commissioner with the INEC. We said we don't want partisan people. This cuts across party lines, it cuts across all our proclivities. It doesn't matter where you are. The button line is this, is this what this country needs at this point in time?
"A scenario where somebody can just wake up in the middle of an election and just go and announce results from a piece of paper on national TV, and then 10 minutes later, Binani was giving an acceptance speech on NTA. This calls for serious concern."
Aisha Binani reacts
In her response, Binani described herself as a committed Democrat who will never do anything to subvert the democratic process, saying she is not a do-or-die politician.
“I am not a do-or-die politician. In the past I have won elections into the House of Representatives and the Senate in a free and fair manner,” she said.
According to her, what happened in Adamawa was an unsuccessful attempt to subvert the will of the people.
Tinubu speaks on outcome of supplementary elections in Adamawa, Kebbi, others
Meanwhile, Nigeria's president-elect, Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu, congratulated the winners of the supplementary elections held across various states over the weekend.
Tinubu made this known via a statement made available to Legit.ng on Wednesday, April 19.
As contained in the statement, Tinubu stated that the conduct of the election and its atmosphere was a clear testament that the people had made their intentions clear that they accepted the election's outcome.