Adamawa Guber: Binani Withdraws Suit Against INEC
The All Progressives Congress (APC) candidate in the Adamawa governorship election, Aisha Binani Dahir, has withdrawn the lawsuit she filed against the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC).
The APC candidate had asked for a judicial review of INEC’s decision to reverse her earlier announcement as the winner of the poll by the state’s Resident Electoral Commissioner (REC), Hudu Yunusa-Ari.
During the resumed hearing of the matter on Wednesday, Binani’s counsel, Mohammed Sheriff, informed Justice Inyang Ekwo of a Federal High Court, Abuja, that a notice of discontinuance had been filed to that effect and urged the court to strike out the case.
However, Justice Ekwo reminded Mr. Sheriff that an order was given on the last adjourned date directing him to address the court on whether the court had the jurisdiction to entertain the case or not.
The lawyer, who informed the court that a lot of issues had come up between the last date of adjournment and today, begged for an order striking out the suit.
The judge, however, held that since Mr. Sheriff had failed to comply with the court’s order, the appropriate thing to do was to dismiss the matter. “I hereby make an order dismissing this suit,” Justice Ekwo declared.
Adamawa Guber Saga
The Adamawa governorship supplementary election was conducted on April 15 following the declaration of the March 18 poll as inconclusive over alleged irregularities.
After voting ended, the collation of results began at the state collation center, but the exercise was suspended after results from 10 Local Government Areas (LGAs) were announced.
However, Hudu Yunusa-Ari, the resident electoral commissioner, declared Binani, the APC candidate the winner of the election before the collation resumed on April 16.
Yunusa-Ari made the declaration when outstanding results were yet to be announced. The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) subsequently described his action as null and void.
The electoral body said the declaration of a winner is the responsibility of the returning officer. Subsequently, Binani approached the court with an ex-parte motion.
Binani applied for leave of the court to allow her to seek “an order of prohibition and certiorari removing to this court for the purpose of being set aside the administrative decision of the 1st respondent made on 16th April 2023 in respect of the declaration of the winner from the gubernatorial election of Adamawa state held on the 18th of March, 2023, and the supplementary election held on 15th April, 2023”.
The APC candidate also requested an order “preventing the 1st respondent, its agent, assign, or any person acting on its behalf from taking any further steps towards the declaration of the winner from the gubernatorial election of Adamawa state held on the 18th of March and the supplementary election held on 15th April 2023, pending the determination of the application for judicial review”.
She claimed that the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and its candidate, Ahmadu Fintiri, resorted to stirring violence after she was declared the winner.
She averred that INEC staff were caught up in the violence and were manhandled, which caused the electoral commission to cancel the initial declaration. Binani also submitted that INEC lacks the power to cancel an election result, as such power is constitutionally vested in the election petition tribunal.
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