Aisha ‘Binani’ Dahiru, governorship candidate of the All Progressives Congress (APC) in Adamawa, has denied bribing an official of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC).
The Adamawa governorship supplementary election was conducted on Saturday following the declaration of the March 18 poll as inconclusive over alleged irregularities.
The collation of election results was suspended till Sunday after results from 10 LGAs were announced.
However, Hudu Yunusa-Ari, the resident electoral commissioner (REC) of the Independent National Commission (INEC), declared Binani as the winner when the results from the remaining LGAs had not been announced.
After her declaration, there were reports that the APC candidate gave INEC officials N2 billion to be announced as the winner.
INEC subsequently discontinued the exercise and described his action as null and void, adding that the declaration of a winner is the responsibility of the returning officer.
On Tuesday, INEC commenced the collation of election results in the state, and Ahmadu Fintiri of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) was announced as the winner.
In a statement issued on Tuesday evening, Binani denied giving the sum of N2 billion to “procure a favourable declaration as governor-elect to some unnamed INEC staff”.
Binani said the report is “very bizarre, unfounded and wild allegations”.
“I never did, I would never do such,” the statement reads.
“I wish to reiterate that I am a democrat. I have always been a committed democrat and will never do anything to subvert the democratic process. I am not a do-or-die politician. In the past, I have won elections into the house of representatives and the senate in a 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 some INEC national officers to the Adamawa state government house and the bizarre declaration the same day after the visit that they have taken over the collation through the backdoor with the collation and returning officers selected by the governor of 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 thanked her supporters for their “unflinching support in the midst of half-truths and opposition smear propaganda”.