The All Progressives Congress (APC) gubernatorial candidate in Adamawa State, Senator Aishatu ‘Binani’ Dahiru has denied bribing the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) officials with 2billion naira.
Binani said that she won’t do anything to subvert the democratic process, adding that she is a democrat and not a do-or-die politician.
Binani described as “bizarre”, allegations that she gave out N2bn to some unnamed staff of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) including embattled Resident Electoral Commissioner, Hudu Yunusa Ari, to procure a favourable declaration as governor-elect for Adamawa State.
“I never did, I would never do such,” Binani stressed.
Ari had on Sunday usurped the powers of the Returning Officer in the state, Mohammed Mele and announced Binani as the winner of the dramatic poll. INEC subsequently nullified the declaration, suspended collation of results and barred Ari from office.
INEC resumed collation on Tuesday and at the end of the entire exercise, said the incumbent, Governor Ahmadu Fintiri of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) polled 430,861 votes, defeating Binani who got 398,738 votes. INEC also declared Fintiri as the winner of the keenly contested poll.
Meanwhile, a video had emerged online showing that a beaten Ari allegedly said he received N2bn bribe to announce Binani as winner of the poll.
However, Binani, in her statement, said she never offered any money to influence the process.
She said: “I wish to reiterate that I am a democrat, I have always been a committed democrat and will never do anything to subvert democratic process. I am not do-or-die politician. In the past I have won elections into the House of Representatives and the Senate in free and fair manner.
“What happened in Adamawa was an unsuccessful attempt to subvert the will of the people. The REC was illegally told to stand down by two INEC national commissioners from Abuja who were supposed to be in Adamawa in a supervisory capacity.
“Even more curious is the nocturnal visit of the same INEC national officers to Adamawa State Government house and bizarre declaration same day after the visit that they have taken over the collation through the backdoor, with collation and returning Officers selected by the Governor Adamawa.
“The roles of these INEC officers from Abuja and the real mission of the two to the Government house should be of interest to all democrats. I urge all lovers of democracy to take a deeper interest in our electoral process and democracy not only in Adamawa but in the whole country.”
Binani has also approached the court to uphold the declaration by Ari that she is the Governor-elect.
However, Justice Inyang Ekwo of a Federal High Court in Abuja temporarily declined to hear the application by Senator Aisha ‘Binani’ Dahiru, seeking an order of court restraining the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) from invalidating her declaration as winner of the governorship election in Adamawa State.