“He’s hiding” – INEC speaks on suspended Adamawa REC who declared Binani winner

The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has said that it does not know the whereabouts of its suspended Resident Electoral Commissioner (REC) in Adamawa State, Barr. Hudu Yunusa Ari.

INEC noted that both Ari and his surety were on the run, having evaded arrest.

The electoral body, through its counsel, Rotimi Jacobs (SAN) told Adamawa High Court, presided over by Justice Benjamin Manji Lawan, that the prosecution failed to arraign Hudu Ari due to inability to arrest him.

INEC had dragged Hudu to court on  a 6-count charge bordering on announcement of false electoral result, violating the oath of neutrality, breach of duty, disorderly conduct at election, inciting disturbance and impersonating a public servant.

Politics Nigeria reports that the suspended REC had declared Aisha Binani winner of the Adamawa governorship election in March 2023.

At the resumed hearing on Monday, Jacobs who announced appearance for the prosecution, informed the court that the defendant had refused invitation from the investigative police officer upon service of hearing notice.

However, he asked the court to adjourn the matter to enable police effect his arrest for arraignment and trial, or alternatively bring application for the court to issue warrant of arrest against him.

The IPO, who also introduced himself in court as CSP, Moses Jolujdo, confirmed to the court that the defendant and his surety had been evading arrest.

The Presiding Judge, Benjamin Manji Lawan, granted the application and subsequently adjourned the case to November 22, 2023, for the arraignment.

Fielding questions from newsmen, counsel to INEC said: “The defendant has been evasive. You can’t get him or arrest him. He is hiding. The lawyers have been encouraging him to do so.”

He said the police must arrest him, and urged them to intensify efforts for the arrest and his prosecution.

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