Re-run: HURIWA asks INEC to review results in 16 Adamawa LGAs
*Accuses commission and security agencies of unprofessional conduct
Ahead of the re-run governorship election in Adamawa State, the Civil rights advocacy group, Human Rights Writers Association of Nigeria (HURIWA), has urged the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to review election results announced in 16 local government areas of the state.
The body said the call became necessary following credible information of alleged manipulation of the March 18 governorship election in the state by the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP).
Speaking at a press conference in Abuja on Sunday, HURIWA national coordinator, Comrade Emmanuel Onwubiko, said the role played by INEC and the failure of the police to secure the election also contributed adversely to that election being rightly declared as inconclusive.
Onwubiko noted that based on the abundance of empirical evidence, it was justifiable that the All Progressives Congress (APC) Governorship candidate in Adamawa state called for a review of the results in 16 local government areas of Michika, Madagali, Hong, Gombi, Song, Girei, Numan, Lamurde, Demsa, Guvuk, Mayo Belwa, Jada, Toungo, Shelleng, Ganye and Maiha.
He stressed the need for the immediate review of the aforementioned results before there can be any credible ground for conducive free, fair and transparent rerun elections as announced by INEC.
He said; “We are aware that on March 22, 2023, the governorship candidate of the APC in Adamawa State through her legal team wrote an addendum to her Petition of March 22, 2023.
“In both the first petition and the supplementary petition what was made abundantly clear was the indubitably and undoubted facts that with specific reference to the said Governorship election, the Collation officer and the Resident Electoral Commissioner were harassed, intimidated, brutalised and subjected to grievous bodily harm and inhuman treatment by the agents of the PDP to the extent that they were forced to be moved to safety at such places like the army barracks, Vice Admiral Murtala Nyako’s residence and the Airforce Base.
“HURIWA is calling on the police authority to arrest these PDP party agents accused of playing one dastardly role of the other in bringing about the Adamawa election impasse.
“HURIWA is well aware through a series of credible information that the aforementioned movement was with the intention of coercing them under duress to declare their principal, the Governor of Adamawa State as the winner of the election.
“On Sunday, March 19, 2023, the State Returning officer in his wisdom did announce that the collation process be suspended till Monday 20th day of March 2023, to allow for the review of the Fufore Local Government Area result.
“It is regrettable that this well-thought-out suggestion was met with threats, and intimidation allegedly by a PDP agent, Dr Hong who threatened to maim the INEC official and burn down the INEC collation Centre. Incidentally, rather than provide security cover for the INEC officials, the Commissioner of Police and the Director of the Department of State Services (DSS) walked out of the hall leaving the officials of the Commission at the mercy of the rampaging thugs. This pattern of abdication of duty by the police seemed to have been replicated all across Nigeria.
“The electoral umpire should follow the precedence they already set clearly in the Enugu and Abia governorship elections in which INEC took some hours to review certain contentious results from some local government collation centres of Abia and Enugu before reaching a determination which received widespread positive acceptance and overwhelming rejoicing in Abìa and Enugu States.
“If INEC did the reviews of the Enugu and Abia gubernatorial elections before announcing the results, what stops the commission from doing this review comprehensively and thoroughly in Adamawa State before conducting the rerun that has been scheduled?
“HURIWA urges INEC to immediately without any further delay by reviewing the results of the Adamawa election in some of the local government areas whereby elections were clearly characterised by unmitigated violence and over-voting, Going ahead with the rerun without the fundamental review of the results, is as good as saying good bye to Credible, Free and Fair election.”