Following the dramatic scenes that erupted in Adamawa State on Sunday, the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has announced the suspension of its Resident Electoral Commission (REC) in Adamawa State, Barr Hudu Yunusa for the role he played during the collation of the rerun governorship election results in Adamawa State.
Recall that Professor Muhammed Mele who served as the Returning Officer for the Adamawa State governorship election had announced the suspension of the collation of the rerun election results on Saturday, and postponed it to 11 am on Sunday.
Barr Hudu who is the State INEC REC was alleged to have forcefully gained access to the State Collation center around 9 AM and proceeded to announce the candidate of the All Progressive Congress (APC), Aisha Binani as the winner of the election.
Frustrated by the action of Barr Hudu, some citizens have called on the electoral umpire, INEC to remove Barr Hudu as the Adamawa State Resident Electoral Commission. Subsequent to deliberation by the INEC, Barr. Hudu is said to have been suspended by the INEC.
However, following a provision by the 2022 Electoral Act as amended the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) may lack the competence to remove the Adamawa State Resident Electoral Commission.
Section 6 Subsection 3 Part 1 of the 2022 Electoral Act, as amended was clear about who has the competent jurisdiction to remove a Resident Electoral Commissioner of INEC in a state.
The above section of the electoral act states categorically that only the President of the country, acting on an address supported by a two-thirds majority of the Senate praying that the Resident Electoral Commissioner be so removed for inability to perform the function of the office, whether arising from infirmity of mind or body or any other cause, or for misconduct.
Even, if we are to assume that Barr Hudu has been involved in a misconduct act, which can only be established by the Senate, his suspension can not emanate from INEC because they lack the power to do so.
To sanction Barr Hudu, it may take the intervention of the Senate and ratification by Mr. President. Hence, the suspension of Barr Hudu may not stand as no one within the hierarchies in INEC has the competent jurisdiction to effect such suspension.
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Written by Omooba Alekuwodo (omoobaalekuwodo)
Published 4/18/2023 5:30:53 AM