- Justice Inyang Ekwo has dismissed a suit filed by Binani against INEC which sought an order preventing INEC and its agents from taking any further steps towards her declaration.
- The court dismissed the suit after Binani filed a notice of discontinuance.
- Binani’s lawyer prayed the court to strike out the suit at the resumption of the hearing today.
An Abuja division of the Federal High Court has dismissed a suit filed by Senator Aisha Dahiru Ahmed (Binani), the candidate of the All Progressives Congress (APC) in the last governorship election in Adamawa State,
Justice Inyang Ekwo dismissed the suit on Wednesday following a notice of discontinuance filed by Binani.
When the matter was called up on Wednesday, Her lawyer Mohammed Sheriff, called the attention of the judge to the notice of discontinuance, as he prayed the court to strike out the suit.
However, The Judge reminded him of the order at the last adjourned date and said since the lawyer has failed to go by the order, it was appropriate for him to dismiss the matter
Consequently, Justice Ekwo dismissed the suit. He said “I hereby make an order dismissing this suit,”
Recall that the Resident Electoral Commissioner in Adamawa had announced Binani as the governor-elect of Adamawa State, an announcement which was made against the provision of the Electoral Act, which states that only the returning officer is empowered to announce the result.
The state returning officer, Professor Mohammed Mele, of the Department of English and Linguistics, University of Maiduguri, Borno State was not at the venue when the declaration was made.
Following the declaration, INEC ordered the suspension of the coalition in the state and voided the pronouncement of Binani as the winner of the election.
Subsequently, INEC directed the REC to stay away from its offices and directed the Administrative Secretary to take full charge of INEC, Adamawa State, with immediate effect.
Expressing dissatisfaction with INEC’s decision, Binani approached the court seeking a judicial review of her declaration and an order preventing INEC and its agents from taking any further steps toward her declaration.
In her ex-parte application, Binani sought an order preventing INEC and its agents from taking any further steps toward her declaration, pending the determination of the judicial review application.
She stated that the application was brought pursuant to Order 34 Rules 1a, Order 3(1) & 3(2) a, b, c, Order 6 of the Federal High Court (Civil Procedure Rules) 2019, and Section 251 (1)q & r of the 1999 Constitution, as well as Sections 149 & 152 of the Electoral Act 2022.
Binani argued that INEC does not have the legal right to void her declaration as the winner as only a court can nullify the actions of an INEC official and not the INEC itself.
She further contended that INEC’s decision usurped the powers of the Election Petition Tribunal which is the only court vested with powers on a declaration from the conduct of an election.
In addition, her counsel, Hussaini Zakariyau, SAN also told the court that a judicial review exists to enable the superior court to checkmate the actions and decisions of lower courts as well as the legislative and administrative arm of government including agencies and public officers.
Consequently, they prayed to the court for an order preventing INEC and its agents from taking any further steps toward her declaration pending the determination of the judicial review application.
However, the court refused to hear the motion and ordered her to address the court on the issue of jurisdiction before hearing the substantive motion.
They adjoined today, April 26 for the hearing of the motion and an address on jurisdiction while on April 18, INEC resumed the coalition of results in the state and the incumbent governor Ahmadu Fintiri was announced as the winner after polling 9,337 votes.
Binani subsequently filed a “Notice of Discontinuance” of the suit.
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