INEC has filed a six-count charge against suspended Adamawa REC Ari.
Newsonline Nigeria reports that the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has filed a six-count charge against the suspended Resident Electoral Commissioner for Adamawa Yunusa Hudu Ari at the Adamawa High Court sitting in Yola for his role in the Adamawa governorship election.
This Nigeria News platform understands that the National Commissioner in charge of Information and Voter Education, Barrister Festus Okoye said in a statement on Thursday that the Court has fixed July 12 for commencement of trial.
Ari courted controversy during the re-run election of the governorship election in Adamawa state when he declared the candidate of the All Progressives Congress(APC), Aisha Banana as winner of the election while collation of results was still ongoing.
Former President, Muhammadu Buhari ordered the Inspector General of Police conduct an investigation on the involvement of Ari.
The Chairman of the Commission, Prof. Mahmood Yakubu had said on Tuesday the Police have concluded investigation into the case and submitted a case to the Commission, adding it will inform Nigerians on the next step.
The statement by Okoye titled:”Prosecution of Resident Electoral Commissioner, Barr. Hudu Yunusa Ari” reads: “The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) held its regular weekly meeting today, Thursday 6th July 2023, and discussed, among other issues, the progress with the prosecution of electoral offenders.
“It would be recalled that at the meeting with the Resident Electoral Commissioners (RECs) two days ago on Tuesday 4th July 2023, the Commission confirmed the receipt of case files from the Nigeria Police following the conclusion of investigation into alleged electoral offences during the 2023 General Election, including the one involving the Resident Electoral Commissioner (REC) deployed to Adamawa State, Barr. Hudu Yunusa Ari.
“The Commission also assured Nigerians of immediate action on the matter.
“As provided by Section 145(1) of the Electoral Act 2022, an offence committed under the Act shall be triable in a Magistrate Court or a High Court of a State in which the offence is committed, or the Federal Capital Territory, Abuja.
“Furthermore, Section 145(2) of the Act provides that a prosecution under the Act shall be undertaken by legal officers of the Commission, or any legal practitioner appointed by it.
“Having reviewed the case file from the Police which established a prima facie case against Barr. Hudu Yunusa Ari, the Commission has filed a six-count charge against him at the Adamawa State High Court sitting in Yola. Consequently, the Court has fixed Wednesday 12th July 2023 for commencement of trial.
“Meanwhile, the Commission is working with the Nigerian Bar Association (NBA) for the diligent prosecution of other cases”.