The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has debunked claims by the candidate of the All Progressives Congress (APC) in Adamawa State, Aisha Binani, that some of its officials held a night meeting with Governor Ahmadu Fintiri, “who gave them a list of “collation and returning officers” deployed for the election.
To set the alleged record straight, INEC in a statement on Thursday, said no nocturnal meeting took place in the Adamawa government house, let alone the compilation of any list of collation and returning officers.
The INEC spokesman, Festus Okoye said the Commission had appointed and retained only one Returning Officer for the governorship election, saying the Returning Officer is also the State Collation Officer for the Presidential Election (SCOPE).
Okoye stated that the list of Collation Officers had also been forwarded to the State with every page of the list endorsed by the INEC Chairman, well ahead of the arrival of the National Commissioners.
He corrected the impression created by Binani that the INEC national headquarters specifically targeted Adamawa State in its deployment of National Commissioners with the sole intention of influencing the outcome of the supplementary election and sidelining the REC.
“Nothing can be further from the truth. For the record, it has been the standard policy and practice of the Commission to deploy National Commissioners, RECs and other staff from the headquarters or neighbouring states for supplementary or off-cycle elections where doing so is considered necessary,” Okoye said.
He added that Adamawa was not targeted for any reason as officials were also deployed to Kebbi, Zamfara, Ogun and other states where supplementary elections were held on Saturday, April 15.
“In all other States, the RECs worked cooperatively with the National Commissioners except in Adamawa State for reasons that are now obvious to all,” Okoye stressed, asking the public to discountenance Binani’s insinuations as nothing more than claptrap.
He advised those behind the “mischief“ to desist forthwith.
INEC debunks Binani’s allegations of targeting Adamawa to influence election