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Ari Insists Binani Won Poll As Police Grill Controversial Adawama REC

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The police, on Tuesday, began grilling the suspended Adamawa State Resident Electoral Commissioner, Hudu Yunusa-Ari, at the Force Headquarters in Abuja, over alleged impropriety during the April 15 supplementary governorship poll in Adamawa State.

The Force Public Relations Officer, Olumuyiwa Adejobi, confirmed to our correspondent that Yunusa-Ari and other suspects were in police custody and were being grilled.

This was as the suspended Adamawa REC said, in an interview with BBC Hausa, that he had no regrets about announcing the governorship candidate of the All Progressives Congress, Aisha Dahiru, popularly known as Binani, as the winner of the 2023 governorship election Adamawa State.

The PUNCH reports that Yunusa-Ari had stirred controversy after declaring  Binani when the collation of results was yet to be completed.

This was followed by an announcement by the Independent National Electoral Commission, proclaiming the declaration by the REC as null and void, while Yunusa-Ari was summoned to INEC headquarters in Abuja, but failed to honour the summons.

The electoral umpire further wrote to the Inspector-General of Police, asking the police to investigate, and if found culpable, prosecute Yunusa-Ari for alleged electoral infractions.

Following the receipt of the letter the IG subsequently asked an investigative team to work in collaboration with INEC on the matter, as the electoral umpire revealed that it didn’t know the whereabouts of the suspended Adamawa REC.

Confirming the arrest of Yunusa-Ari and other suspects on Tuesday, the Force spokesman, Adejobi, said, “The Nigeria Police Force hereby confirms the arrest of Barrister Hudu Yunusa-Ari, the Adamawa State REC, who was alleged to have announced the candidate of the All Progressives Congress winner of the gubernatorial election during the recently concluded supplementary elections following calls for his arrest and investigation by the INEC on the basis of alleged impropriety in the course of supplementary gubernatorial polls in the state.

“Barrister Yunusa-Ari, who was arrested by the Police Election Planning, Monitoring, and Evaluation Team in Abuja on Tuesday, May 2, 2023, is currently in police custody and he’s being grilled to ascertain the motives and motivations behind his alleged improper actions during the supplementary elections in Adamawa State.

“In addition, other officials and individuals culpable in the saga are being interrogated by the team.

“The Inspector-General of Police has given clear assurance that every individual involved/indicted in the matter will be apprehended and investigated in line with the provisions of the law for possible prosecution.

“The IG has assured of the commitment of the Force to ensuring that justice is served in this case and that all guilty parties are brought to justice.”

Meanwhile, speaking in an interview with BBC Hausa on Tuesday prior to his arrest, Yunusa-Ari maintained that he acted in accordance with relevant laws in declaring the APC candidate, Binani, as the governor-elect of Adamawa state before the declaration was overturned by the national headquarters of the electoral empire in Abuja.

He said, “I don’t have the papers with me here but both in the main and supplementary elections, Binani scored 428,173 while Fintiri got 422,303 votes.

“I have no regrets at all as I acted under the law; it is the law that warranted what I did and it shall absolve me.”

On accusations of receiving N2bn to pull off the electoral stunt, Ari told BBC Hausa that, “I never demanded any gratification from either of Binani or Fintiri. None of the duo sent anything to me; if they had done so, by now they will be demanding their money back.”

The Punch

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Atiku Sympathises with Tinubu over ‘Unfortunate’ Fall on Democracy Day Parade Ground

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By Eric Elezuo

A former Vice President and Presidential candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in the 2023 elections, Alhaji Atiku Abubakar, has sympathized with President Bola Tinubu over his fall while trying to board a parade truck to inspect parade at the Eagle Square on Wednesday.

The former Vice President expressed his sympathies via his verified X account, describing the fall as ‘unfortunate incident’, and hoping that all is well with the President.

He wrote:

“I sincerely sympathize with President Bola Tinubu over this unfortunate incident as he was set to review the parade on Democracy Day. I hope that all is well with him -AA”

Recall that while Tinubu attempted to mount the open truck for inspection of parade, he slipped and fell. But he was quick to pick himself up again with the help of his aides, who came to his rescue.

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Democracy Day Parade: Tinubu Slips, Falls, Recovers

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President Bola Tinubu on Wednesday slipped and fell while boarding the parade vehicle at the venue of the 2024 Democracy Day.

The President had approached the vehicle shortly after he arrived at the Eagles Square, Abuja venue of the programme.

Our correspondent observed that the President lost his footing momentarily as he was about to step into the vehicle.

However, despite the slip, the President quickly regained his balance and continued with the proceedings.

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Glo Maintains 18 Years Tradition, Sponsors Ojude Oba Festival Again

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Digital solutions provider, Globacom, has announced that it will again be partnering with the organizers of the popular Ojude Oba festival this year in continuation of a tradition it started 18 years ago.

Speaking at the pre-event press conference held at Awujale’s Palace in Ijebu Ode, Ogun State, Globacom’s representative, Mr. Kazeem Kaka, restated the company’s commitment to uplifting Nigeria’s rich cultural heritage.

“Our sponsorship of festivals is aimed at identifying with the cultures and traditions of the Nigerian people, as an indigenous brand. Our involvement in the celebration of Ojude Oba festival is therefore geared towards promoting the unique tradition and custom of the Ijebu people”, Kaka said.

Globacom’s collaboration with the custodians of this festival, Mr. Kaka explained, underscores the company’s commitment to the rich heritage of the nation which is externalised through these festivals.

“It is our belief that our continued support for Ojude Oba will further strengthen the festival and entrench it as a world class carnival which will attract even more tourists from across the world. We are convinced that this partnership will further foster a symbiotic relationship with immense benefits for both Globacom and Ijebuland”, he added.

In his speech, the Chairman, Ojude Oba Planning Committee, Chief Olu Okuboyejo, paid tribute to Globacom for its massive support for the celebration which he noted serves as a reminder of the historical antecedents of the Ijebu people.

Themed: “Unity and Harmony in Ijebuland…The gift of Ojude Oba”, the 2024 edition of the festival is the 18th time that Globacom will be partnering with the Ojude Oba Planning Committee as the main sponsor of the festival.

Ojude Oba is celebrated annually two days after the Islamic  Eid El-Kabr festival and it’s a social gathering where all divergent issues affecting the lives of the Ijebu people are addressed. It is also a cornerstone for the development of the community socially, politically and economically.

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