Suspended Adamawa REC Yunusa-Ari’s Court No-Show Sparks Controversy, Trial Reschedule

Daud Olatunji

In a surprising turn of events, the suspended Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) Resident Electoral Commissioner (REC) in Adamawa State, Hudi Yunusa-Ari, failed to appear in court as scheduled, leading to an order for his rescheduled arraignment.

Yola, Adamawa State – In a significant development, the suspended Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) Resident Electoral Commissioner (REC) in Adamawa State, Hudi Yunusa-Ari, did not show up at the State High Court in Yola as expected, raising eyebrows and prompting further legal proceedings.

Justice Benjamin Manji of the State High Court in Yola had set the stage for Yunusa-Ari’s arraignment on Monday, but this plan was thwarted by the REC’s absence.

As a result, Justice Manji ordered INEC to ensure Yunusa-Ari’s presence during the court’s next session, scheduled for November 23, 2023.

The unusual turn of events unfolded due to the police’s failure to serve the hearing notice to Yunusa-Ari. According to the prosecution counsel representing INEC, Justice Rotimi Jacobs, the police made numerous attempts to deliver the hearing notice, including visiting Yunusa-Ari’s residence.

However, they were unsuccessful in their efforts, and even the defendant’s surety could not be located.

The judge, Benjamin Manji, expressed his astonishment at the situation, given that the police had previously granted the REC bail through a surety.

He ultimately granted the prosecution counsel’s request for a two-week extension, providing additional time for Yunusa-Ari to appear before the court.

Addressing reporters following the court session, INEC’s counsel, Rotimi Jacobs, assured the public that all necessary measures would be taken to ensure the defendant’s appearance on the adjourned date.

The Federal High Court in Abuja had previously granted INEC the authority to prosecute Yunusa-Ari, who faces a six-count charge related to his alleged involvement in the 2023 governorship election in the state. The prosecutor is also pursuing an arrest warrant against the REC.

The controversy surrounding Yunusa-Ari erupted after he prematurely declared the All Progressives Congress (APC) candidate, Aishatu Ahmed Binani, as the winner during the collation of results for the supplementary governorship election held on April 15th.

 This hasty action drew widespread condemnation, leading INEC to void the declaration and impose an indefinite suspension on the REC.

The legal saga continues as the court reschedules Yunusa-Ari’s arraignment, with heightened anticipation surrounding his appearance and the unfolding trial.


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