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Suspended Adamawa REC writes IGP from hiding, insists he did nothing wrong

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The suspended Resident Electoral Commissioner for Adamawa state, Hudu Yunusa-Ari, has risen in his own defence over his April 16 declaration of Aishatu Dahiru (Binani) of the All Progressives Congress (APC) as the winner of the recent governorship election in the state.

Yunusa-Ari, who has since been in hiding, said in an open letter to the Inspector General of Police Baba Alkali that his action was motivated by the desire to save the democratic process, and was in accordance with the powers conferred on him by the Electoral Act as the Chief Collation Officer in the state.

The embattled REC accused the two National Commissioners deployed to the state to supervise the April 15 supplementary election of usurping his responsibility as Resident Electoral Commissioner and acting under the influence of Governor Ahmadu Fintiri who was seeking re-election on the platform of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP).

Fintiri was eventually declared winner of the election.

In the four-page letter dated April 20, Yunusa-Ari said that as the Chief Collation Officer in the state, he observed that results uploaded on the IREV portal were not signed by him and therefore were null and void.

He said the two INEC commissioners held a meeting with “my management staff in my absence and I did not know the outcome of the meeting, and there was a sudden move to tamper with the list of Collation Officers (COs) earlier released for the rerun election.”

Besides, he said the two commissioners were dishing out counter instructions to the ones he issued to staff on the collation of results following a security report “from the Commissioner of Police that Boko Haram insurgents from neighbouring states were recruited by some politicians to cart away sensitive materials and disrupt the elections.”

Continuing, he said: “In the evening, when I was preparing for state collation, all seats for ICCES (Interagency Consultative Committee on election Security) members were set, I got to the place and discovered that my name was replaced with that of the Administrative Secretary to take charge of collation.

“I then asked the National Commissioners to explain why they would exclude me from the process of collating results but there was no explanation. After some time, the National Commissioners declared that | was nowhere to be found.

“Immediately after the announcement, someone called me and informed me about the development. So around 1:00 am on Sunday 16th April, 2023, I came back to the collation centrer and saw some people sleeping, including the two National Commissioners.

“I addressed them that I was still the Resident Electoral Commissioner and that all stakeholders for the re-run election should return to the collation centre by 11:00 am on Sunday, 16th April, 2023.

“It is important to note that while the National Commissioners defiled the security concerns released by the Commissioner of Police, they purportedly did result collation at various locations by their self-appointed, unapproved and illegal collation officers.

“Meanwhile, I received reports that the collations at the various centres left much to be desired.

“So due to the pressure and the numerous calls I received from party agents and candidates of political parties threatening to cause mayhem for not having confidence in the collation of results at the various collation centres as directed by the National Commissioners, I looked inward and decided to call for all the results from the sixty-nine (69) polling units.

“To avert the impending danger of the delay in announcing the results of the supplementary elections, I received the authentic results submitted by the Presiding Officers (POs) from all the sixty-nine polling units and compared them with results that were uploaded on the IREV (INEC portal) and I realised that the results on the portal were different because the results on the INEC portal were not signed by me.”

Yunusa-Ari added that the action of the National Commissioners and threats by political parties over the process of collating results “created an atmosphere of violence that almost marred the election, most of the stakeholders were scared and refused to continue with the election process, including the Returning Officer (RO).”

He said he even organised a meeting with the chairman of Inter-Party Advisory Council, Mr. Bello Babajo, who assured him of reaching out to all the political parties to calm down the tension and to allow the process to be concluded swiftly.

“It was based on this, that I compiled all the polling unit results and declared the winner of the election based on the highest number of valid votes scored by the candidate of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Aishatu Dahiru Ahmed Binani,” he said.

“The breakdown was the valid votes scored by the two leading candidates in the supplementary election using the results from the polling units as collated into all relevant Forms EC8B, C,D and E respectively by properly and legally appointed and recognised Collation Officers and my humble self as Adamawa State Chief Collation Officer and Resident Electoral Commissioner (REC).

“Prior to the declaration, there was an intelligence report made available to me that the two National Commissioners were at the Government House, Yola, at 8:31pm on 15/04/2023 and held a meeting with the State Governor, Mr. Ahmadu Umaru Fintiri.”

Copies of the letter were sent to the INEC Chairman, Director General, DSS and the National Security Adviser, although the content suggests that it might have been meant for the Commission.

The letter is the first communication from the suspended REC since the April 16 incident.

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Economy

President Bola Tinubu Suspend Godwin Emefiele as CBN Governor

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President Bola Ahmed Tinubu has suspended the Central Bank Governor, Mr Godwin Emefiele, CFR, from office with immediate effect,” the Director of Information, Office of the Secretary to the Government of the Federation Willie Bassey said in a Friday statement.

“This is sequel to the ongoing investigation of his office and the planned reforms in the financial sector of the economy.

“Mr Emefiele has been directed to immediately hand over the affairs of his office to the Deputy Governor (Operations Directorate), who will act as the Central Bank Governor pending the conclusion of the investigation and the reforms.”

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Entertainment

Outrage As Hilda Baci Reportedly Charges People N25,000 To Meet Her In Abuja

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Nigerian chef, Hilda Baci has sparked outrage on social media as reports suggest she is charging a fee of N25,000 for individuals to meet her in Abuja.

On May 15, 2023, Hilda Baci achieved a remarkable feat by surpassing the previous Guinness World Record for the longest cooking time held by Chef Lata Tondon from Rewa, India in 2019.

The Akwa Ibom chef, not only broke Tondon’s record of 87 hours and 45 minutes but went on to cook for an astounding 100 hours and 40 minutes, making her the first individual in the world to spend such an extended duration of time cooking.

Although the Guinness World Record is yet to officially confirm Hilda Baci as the new record holder for the longest cooking marathon, the Nigerian chef has engaged in controversial acts that have triggered widespread criticism and debate within the country.

On Thursday night, reports emerged that Hilda is charging a substantial fee for personal meet-ups in Abuja. It is alleged that individuals are required to pay N25,000 to have a brief encounter with her on June 24, 2023.

While Hilda Baci has not publicly addressed the allegations, the reported fee has ignited public outrage on social media platforms with many Nigerians expressing their disappointment and concern over what they perceive as an exorbitant charge to meet a chef.

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Football

Messi Won’t Find Life Easy In MLS –Rooney

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Former Manchester United striker Wayne Rooney has warned Lionel Messi that he should braze up for tough time in Major League Soccer (MLS).

Recall that Messi confirmed this week that he is joining Inter Miami as a free agent.

Rooney, who is currently in charge of DC United, is hoping that the 35-year-old’s MLS debut could come against his side.

Inter Miami are due to face DC United in Washington on July 8.

Rooney told reporters: “It’d be nice if we were his first opponents for D.C. fans to see him up close and for us to challenge ourselves against him.

“One thing I will say is that it’s not going to be easy for him. The league’s a difficult league, and I don’t think he’s going to come over here and absolutely tear it up immediately.

“He’ll have to adapt because it’s a bit different; it won’t be an easy ride for him.”

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