The Nigerian Bar Association (NBA) announced on Wednesday that it will file a disciplinary petition against Adamawa State’s embattled Resident Electoral Commissioner (REC), Hudu Yunusa-Ari, who is also a lawyer.
Yunusa-Ari is being investigated for his role in the disputed declaration of the All Progressives Congress (APC) governorship candidate, Aisha Binani, as the winner of the April 15 supplementary governorship election.
In an interview with Channels TV, the Chairman of the NBA’s Section of Public Interest and Development (SPIDEL), Monday Ubani, stated that the NBA intends to hold Yunusa-Ari accountable for the misconduct that has brought disgrace to the NBA.
He emphasized the importance of conducting an investigation and proceeding with prosecution if Yunusa-Ari is found guilty.
This is one of the suggestions that were made; that a body like NBA should not allow such a man who brought what I would consider a national disgrace to NBA to go scot-free.
If he is innocent, let us be told that he is innocent. If he is not innocent, then the next thing that should follow is prosecution. This is because it sends the right signal that we are a nation that wants to protect our integrity.
Ubani also stated that, while the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) lacks the authority to investigate crime, the police are the primary prosecutor in such cases.
He also stated that INEC’s body language is important in reducing electoral misconduct by politicians and electoral officials, because a strict and credible electoral umpire would make politicians more cautious.
Speaking on the role of INEC in curbing electoral misconduct, Ubani said;
It is the Nigerian Police that does investigation in the country, so if a matter is alleged to fall into the realm of crime, it is the Nigerian Police that carries out the responsibility.
Even if INEC would prosecute, there must be an investigation first by a body authorised to do that.
The body language of the electoral umpire (INEC) has a role to play, it goes a long way to the integrity of the system. The politicians are waiting to see the reaction of INEC in the electoral process.
When the umpire is having issues and the politicians see the body language, they see that there are still loopholes and room for them to manipulate