The Nigerian Bar Association (NBA) on Wednesday announced its intention to file a petition for disciplinary action against Adamawa State’s embattled Resident Electoral Commissioner (REC), Hudu Yunusa-Ari, who is also a lawyer.
Yunusa-Ari is under investigation for his role in the controversial declaration of the governorship candidate of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Aisha Binani as the winner of the April 15 supplementary governorship election.
The Chairman of the NBA’s Section of Public Interest and Development (SPIDEL), Monday Ubani in an interview with Channels TV said the association aims to hold Yunusa-Ari accountable for misconduct that brought disgrace to the NBA.
He emphasized the need to investigate the issue and, if Yunusa-Ari is found guilty, proceed with prosecution.
Ubani said, “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 noted that while the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) does not have the power to investigate crime, the police are the lead prosecutor in such cases.
He further stated that INEC’s body language plays a significant role in curbing electoral misconduct by politicians and electoral officials, as 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.”