Governor-elect Ahmadu Fintiri (left) and Aisha Binani
After all the drama, the Independent National Electoral Commission has declared Ahmadu Fintiri as the winner of the Adamawa State governorship election. The Returning Officer, Muhammed Melee, declared incumbent Fintiri of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) winner on Tuesday after polling 430,861 votes to defeat his major counterpart Aisha Binani of the All Progressives Congress (APC) who polled 398,788.
INEC reopened the collation centre for the supplementary election results on Tuesday. The supplementary election held in the state on Saturday, April 15, after the election of March 18 was declared inconclusive by INEC, following certain irregularities.
The collation exercise in the state was stopped on Sunday after the Resident Electoral Commissioner, Hudu Ari, declared the candidate of the All Progressives Congress, Binani, the winner of the election, which led the commission on Monday to ask Hudu to stay away from the office.
In his acceptance speech after being declared winner, the governor-elect said he was “humbled the more.” While congratulating his co-contenders for their struggle in the governorship race, Fintiri condemned the action of Hudu who had earlier declared Binani as the winner of the election.
While saying the action of the REC “fell below expectation,” he thanked the people of Adamawa “for voting for continuity.” Following the political drama in the state, the Inspector General of Police, Usman Baba, ordered that the Commissioner of Police on election duty, Mohammed Barde, be withdrawn from the state with immediate effect.
The IGP also ordered that the CP in charge of Gombe State, Etim Equa, should immediately proceed to Adamawa State for election security of the keenly contested supplementary governorship poll. The Force Public Relations Officer, Olumuyiwa Adejobi, made the revelation while addressing pressmen on Tuesday in Abuja, adding that the IG was committed to a free and fair electoral process.
Part of the development in the day is also the fact that a Federal High Court, Abuja, refused to hear an ex-parte motion filed by Binani on the elections. The court temporarily declined to hear the motion over issue bordering on jurisdiction. Justice Inyang Ekwo, instead, ordered the APC candidate’s counsel, Mohammed Sheriff, to address the court on the issue of jurisdiction before hearing the substantive motion.
Upon resumed hearing on the matter, Afeez Matomi announced appearance for Governor Ahmadu Fintiri, the third respondent in the suit, shortly after the sheriff mentioned his name. Justice Ekwo then asked Matomi if he had been served.
The lawyer told the court that though they were yet to be served, they had filed a motion to counter part of Binani’s prayers.
He said they got the hint about the ex-parte motion through social media, hence, they decided to file a motion. But the judge, who declined to listen to Fintiri’s lawyer, said it was imperative for counsel to go by what the law said.
Justice Ekwo, who ordered Sheriff to address him on whether the court had the jurisdiction to hear the matter, held that the application would be taken together with the issue of jurisdiction on the next adjourned date. He consequently adjourned the matter until April 26 for hearing of the motion and an address on jurisdiction.