The Centre for Democracy and Development (CDD) has expressed concern over the recent turn of events following the supplementary governorship election in Adamawa State.
The CDD Director, Idayat Hassan, said on Tuesday in Abuja that the centre was dismayed by the chain of events since the illegal action of the suspended Resident Electoral Commissioner (REC), Yunusa Hudu Ari, on Sunday, where he acted outside his remit to declare a winner even when collation was still ongoing.
“It is pertinent to restate that the declaration was completely at variance with the provision of Section 25 (2f) of the Electoral Act, 2022 which empowers only the returning officer to make such declaration as well as Sections 65 and 66 of the Act which further reaffirmed the procedure of returning election results,” Hassan said.
She also said that the CDD is worried that some political actors are now dragging the judiciary into the issue by making demands that run parallel to democratic norms and laid down laws and guidelines for the conduct of elections.
She said, “It is strange for the Judiciary to be called in midway into the electoral process to interpret any action. Since it is abundantly clear that the now suspended Adamawa REC acted only as an imposter in announcing the so-called winner, no one ought to be told that the action was a nullity.
“The Judiciary should not be dragged into what is clearly an illegal affair ab initio. CDD calls on the leadership of Judiciary to stand by its earlier warning to judges and other judicial officers that they should avoid unwholesome interference in the political process.
“We reiterate our stance for all actors to allow the process as spelt out in the law to be followed in promptly declaring the winner of the governorship election.”
The CDD boss said that INEC should be allowed to follow its laid down legal means of collation and announcement of result before any aggrieved party approaches the right court for any needed redress.
“We once again call on political actors, electoral officials and security agents to operate within the ambit of the law and avoid any situation that can lead to chaos or threaten peace.
“We call on the people of Adamawa State to remain calm as INEC brings closure to this process in line with the extant laws governing the conduct of elections,” Hassan said.