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We don’t know whereabouts of Adamawa REC – INEC

Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) says it does not know the whereabouts of Hudu Yunusa-Ari, the resident electoral commissioner (REC) in Adamawa.

Gatekeepers News reports that while speaking on Friday during a Channels Television programme, Festus Okoye, INEC National commissioner and chairman, information and voter education committee, said Yunusa-Ari failed to show up at the commission’s headquarters as directed.

The Adamawa governorship supplementary election was conducted on Saturday following the declaration of the March 18 poll as inconclusive over alleged irregularities.

While the results from the supplementary election were yet to be completely announced, Yunusa-Ari declared Aisha ‘Binani’ Dahiru, candidate of the All Progressives Congress (APC), as the winner.

INEC subsequently declared the announcement null and void and summoned the REC to its headquarters in Abuja.

Okoye said the REC has not been picking up phone calls and his location is unknown.

“We don’t know where he is because, after this particular incident, the commission wrote him and also called him on the phone. He never returned any of the calls, he never answered any of the calls,” he said.

“We asked him to report to the commission on Sunday we didn’t see him, we asked him to report on Monday we didn’t see him. So up till this moment, he has not reported and we don’t know his whereabouts.”

On if Yunusa-Ari will be declared wanted, Okoye said that is the responsibility of the Nigerian police.

“If they feel that his presence is absolutely needed during the investigation and he is nowhere to be found, it is their prerogative and discretion to declare him wanted,” he said.

“We wrote to the inspector-general of police and secretary to the government of the federation. We have received a response from the inspector-general of police and they have already commenced an investigation.

“My understanding is that the moment the inspector-general of police concludes the investigation regarding the REC and every other individual who is involved and a prima facie case is established against the REC, the file will be made available to the commission and the commission will begin prosecution of the REC.”

INEC on Monday asked Yunusa-Ari to “stay away” from the commission’s office in Adamawa.

President Muhammadu Buhari on Thursday approved the REC’s suspension and directed his prosecution if found guilty after investigations.

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