Finally, Fintiri Triumphs Over Binani In Controversial Adamawa Guber Race

Governor Fintiri (lef) and Hajiya Binani
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Final curtains fell on the voting, collation and announcements of results cum declaration of winner processes in the controversial Adamawa State Governorship Election on Tuesday, 18 April, 2023 as the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) declared Governor Ahmadu Fintiri  winner of the election.

 In the final tally as declared by INEC, Fintiri of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) polled 430,861 votes to beat Hajiya Aisha Dahiru Ahmed (more widely known as Binani) of the All Progressives Congress (APC) who scored 398,788 votes.

Returning Officer in the election, Mele Lamido, declared Fintiri winner after the collation of the supplementary election results was finalised.

 Lamido disclosed that the total votes cast were 869,106 while total valid votes were 853,819. Rejected votes were 15,287.

 While this development has ended the first controversial phase of the Adamawa election which was long drawn from the first balloting on March 18, 2023, leading to a highly disputed declaration of Hajiya Binani as winner by the Adamawa Resident Electoral Commissioner (REC) Hudu Yunusa-Ari, public affairs analysts told The Dream Daily Newspaper that the next phase of the battle would be the courts where Hajiya Binani has already appeared in a bid to retain the “victory” or “mandate” conferred on her by  Yunusa-Ari’s contentious declaration.

   The Adamawa governorship election has claimed some scalps and is likely to claim more. For instance, the REC, Yunusa-Ari, has been suspended from office and is likely to be recommended to the police for prosecution by INEC.

  Also, the Inspector General of Police (IGP) Usman Baba Alkali, has redeployed the Commissioner of Police in Adamawa, Mohammed Barde, who was with the suspended REC when he announced Hajiya Binani as the winner of the election.

 Meanwhile, earlier before the announcement of Fintiri as winner, Hajiya Binani lost her bid to stop the call at a Federal High Court, Abuja which declined to hear her ex-parte application for an order to halt further collation of the governorship election.

  The court, in a ruling delivered by Judge Inyang Ekwo, ordered Counsel to the Applicant, Mohammed Sheriff, to address it on whether or not it had the requisite jurisdiction to entertain the matter.

Judge Ekwo, adjourned the suit till April 26 for Sherriff to address the court on the issue of jurisdiction.

 Hajiya Binani, in the ex-parte application marked: FHC/ABJ/CS/510/2023, applied for leave of the court to allow her seek “an order of prohibition and certiorari removing to this court for the purpose of being set aside the administrative decision of the 1st Respondent made on April 16, 2023, in respect of the declaration of the winner from the gubernatorial election of Adamawa State held on March 18, 2023 and the supplementary election held on April 15, 2023.”

She also sought an order of the court to “prevent the 1st Respondent, its agent, assign or any person acting on its behalf from taking any further steps towards the declaration of the winner from the gubernatorial election of Adamawa State held on March 18 and the supplementary election held on April 15, 2023, pending the determination of the application for judicial review.”

The APC was listed as the 2nd Applicant in the suit, INEC, PDP and Fintiri, were cited as 1st to 3rd Respondents.

 In her suit, the APC candidate insisted that she was legally declared winner of the governorship election after the collation process was completed.

 Hajiya Binani pleaded: “Pursuant to the declaration of Senator Aisha Dahiru Ahmed as the winner of the gubernatorial election, any dissatisfied candidate is to resort to the tribunal for redress, if any.

“The 2nd Respondent, PDP, and the 3rd Respondent Ahmadu Fintiri, who lost in the election resorted to fighting and causing a public disturbance which led to the beating and manhandling of one of the 1st Respondent staff.

“The crisis caused by the 2nd and 3rd Respondents led the 1st Respondent to announce that it had cancelled the initial declaration made by it on 16th April 2023”.

She argued that INEC had no powers to cancel or declare a declaration made illegal: “The only court with the power on a declaration made from the conduct of an election is only the Election Petition Tribunal set up by the 1999 Constitution of Nigeria (as amended),” the Applicants averred.

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