The embattled Adamawa Resident Electoral Commissioner (REC), Hudu Ari has been arrested by the Police Election Planning, Monitoring, and Evaluation Team in Abuja, Nigeria. According to a statement by the Police spokesman, Muyiwa Adejobi, Barrister Ari is currently in police custody and is being questioned to determine the motives behind his alleged misconduct during the supplementary elections in Adamawa State.
The decision to arrest Ari comes after the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) nullified his announcement of Aisha ‘Binani’ Dahiru of the All Progressives Congress (APC) as the winner of the 2023 governorship election in Adamawa State. The announcement was made while the collation of results was still ongoing, causing controversy and prompting an investigation.
President Muhammadu Buhari ordered a full investigation of the electoral commissioner and the security personnel that were around him when he made the declaration. Security agencies were also ordered to arrest and prosecute the embattled REC, but his whereabouts were unknown for over two weeks before his arrest on Tuesday.
The Police stated that the arrest of Ari is a step towards bringing all those involved in the saga to justice. Other officials and individuals implicated in the matter are also being interrogated by the team. The Inspector-General of Police has given assurances that all individuals involved in the matter will be apprehended and investigated for possible prosecution.
Ari had previously stated that he would surrender himself to the police. However, he had been in hiding for over two weeks before his arrest. He had also said in the interview that he did not regret announcing Binani as the winner of the election.
The situation in Adamawa State has been highly controversial and has sparked nationwide attention. The conclusion of the election by INEC and the subsequent announcement of Ahmadu Fintiri of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) as the authentic winner of the poll was seen as a step towards resolving the matter.
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