The All Progressives Congress (APC) candidate in Adamawa State, Aisha “Binani” Dahiru, on Tuesday dismissed as bizarre and unfounded claims that he bribed officials of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) with N2 billion to be declared the winner of the state governorship election.
The commission had on Tuesday evening declared Governor Ahmadu Fintiri of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) as the winner of the election after he polled 430,861 votes to defeat Binani, who got 398,788 votes in the exercise.
The Resident Electoral Commissioner (REC), Hudu Yunusa-Ari, had on Sunday stirred controversy after he declared the APC candidate as the winner of the election with only 10 out of the 21 local government areas of the state collated.
INEC, however, declared the announcement null and void and directed the REC to stay away from election duty in the state.
Following Yunusa-Ari’s declaration, there were claims in several quarters that the Adamawa central senator bribed INEC officials N2 billion to be declared winner of the election.
However, in a statement issued shortly after INEC declared Fintiri as the winner of the election, Binani denied that he bribed some staff of the commission bribe to be declared the Adamawa governor-elect.
She alleged that the INEC collation and returning officers for the election were selected by the governor.
The statement read: “I never did, I would never do such. I wish to reiterate that I am a democrat. I have always been a committed democrat and will never do anything to subvert the democratic process.
“I am not a do-or-die politician. In the past, I have won elections into the House of Representatives and the Senate in a free and fair manner.
“What happened in Adamawa was an unsuccessful attempt to subvert the will of the people. The REC was illegally told to stand down by two INEC national commissioners from Abuja who were supposed to be in Adamawa in a supervisory capacity.
“ Even more curious is the nocturnal visit of some INEC national officers to the Adamawa State Government House and the bizarre declaration the same day after the visit that they have taken over the collation through the backdoor with the collation and returning officers selected by the governor of Adamawa.
“The roles of these INEC officers from Abuja and the real mission of the two to the government house should be of interest to all democrats.
“I urge all lovers of democracy to take a deeper interest in our electoral process and democracy not only in Adamawa but in the whole country.”
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