The embattled Resident Electoral Commissioner (REC) of Adamawa State, Hudu Yunusa-Ari, who also practices law, is the target of a petition being filed by the Nigerian Bar Association (NBA) that will subject him to disciplinary proceedings.
The REC is being looked into for his part in the controversial announcement of Aishatu Dahiru of the All Progressives Congress (APC) as the winner of the April 15 supplementary governorship election. He managed to avoid capture until May 2, when he was finally apprehended.
Monday Ubani, the chairman of the NBA’s Section of Public Interest and Development (SPIDEL), stated on Wednesday’s telecast of Channels Television’s Sunrise Daily that the NBA intends to file a petition against him as a member of the Bar.
“This is one of the suggestions that were made; that a body like NBA should not allow such a man who brought what I would consider a national disgrace to NBA to go scot-free,” he said.
According to him, there must be a report to the NBA disciplinary committee for it to investigate what he did as the REC who was sent on a national assignment “did not represent the body well enough”.
“If he is innocent, let us be told that he is innocent. If he is not innocent, then the next thing that should follow is prosecution. This is because it sends the right signal that we are a nation that wants to protect our integrity,” he said.
‘INEC Cannot Prosecute REC’
The human rights lawyer stated that the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) does not have the power to investigate crime under the legal framework in the country.
“It is the Nigerian Police that does investigation in the country, so if a matter is alleged to fall into the realm of crime, it is the Nigerian Police that carries out the responsibility.
“Even if INEC would prosecute, there must be an investigation first by a body authorised to do that,” he said.
The SPIDEL chairman also noted that INEC’s body language would curb electoral malfeasance by politicians and electoral officials.
He said that if the credibility and strictness of INEC are maintained, politicians would be timid and desperate.
“The body language of the electoral umpire (INEC) has a role to play, it goes a long way to the integrity of the system. The politicians are waiting to see the reaction of INEC in the electoral process.
“When the umpire is having issues and the politicians see the body language, they see that there are still loopholes and room for them to manipulate,” he said.