Adamawa State, [Date] – Hudu Yunusa Ari, the suspended Resident Electoral Commissioner (REC) of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) for Adamawa State, has submitted a petition to the Nigerian Bar Association (NBA), urging them to halt any moves to refer him to the Legal Practitioners Disciplinary Committee (LPDC) for disciplinary action.
Ari’s plea stems from the fact that the issues being raised are already the subject of ongoing court cases.
In his petition to the NBA, Ari emphasized that the matters in question are currently before the Adamawa State High Court under Charge No. HC/ADSY/15/2023, which was initiated on July 5, 2023. He argued that proceeding with disciplinary action would result in double jeopardy, as the case is already under consideration by a court of competent jurisdiction.
Ari stated, “Mr. President, your alleged anticipated referring me to the Legal Practitioners Disciplinary Committee may result in double jeopardy against me and a breach of my fair hearing contrary to the provisions of Section 36 of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, 1999, as Amended.”
The suspended REC expressed optimism that the plans to refer him to the LPDC will remain unsubstantiated allegations, noting that the NBA has consistently advised against commenting or taking actions on matters pending before courts of law to ensure the fair administration of justice.
Ari highlighted his concern that pursuing disciplinary action could undermine ongoing legal proceedings and the processes outlined in the Electoral Act.
He specifically cited sections 144, 145, and 149 of the Electoral Act, as well as Section 36 of the Constitution, in arguing that such action would hinder the progress of various ongoing court cases.
Dated August 21, 2023, the acknowledged copy of Ari’s petition, titled “Re: Fallout Concerning My Role As Resident Electoral Commissioner Concerning The 2023 Adamawa State Governorship Election, Request For Stay Of Action Thereto,” was addressed to the NBA President.
Ari’s letter was prompted by media speculations regarding his potential referral to the Legal Practitioners Disciplinary Committee, following his involvement in the Adamawa State supplementary Gubernatorial Elections on April 15, 2023.
Ari, a member of the NBA, indicated that the circumstances that prompted his actions as the INEC’s REC are also under consideration in multiple pending suits before various superior courts.
The suits in question, including FHC/ABJ/CS/935/2023; charge no. HC/ADSY/15/2023; and Election Petition No. EPT/AD/GV/01/2023, seek to interpret sections 144 and 145 of the Electoral Act, 2022, regarding the legitimacy of his declaration of Aishatu Ahmed Dahiru as the winner of the Adamawa Gubernatorial Election.
Despite the circumstances, Ari maintained his commitment to upholding the rule of law and the tenets of justice, even while providing a brief overview of the events that led to his actions.
He emphasized that the matters are still subject to litigation, and he urged the NBA to withhold any actions that could interfere with ongoing legal processes.
As the situation unfolds, the focus remains on the legal processes at hand, with the suspended REC striving to ensure that the integrity of the judicial proceedings remains intact.
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