Court Restrains INEC from Conducting Governorship Supplementary Election in Adamawa

  • You lack jurisdiction, says electoral body

Daji Sani in Yola

A Yola High Court Thursday restrained the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) from conducting a supplementary Governorship Election in Adamawa State, fixed for March 23.

But in a swift reaction, the electoral body in the state has dismissed the restraining order, insisting that the court lacked jurisdiction.

The ruling by Justice Abdul-Aziz Waziri, followed a request to that effect filed by counsel to the Adamawa Chapter of the Movement for the Restoration and Defence of Democracy (MRDD), Mr. Mustafa Shaba, over absence of the party logo on the ballot paper of the inconclusive election.

Delivering the ruling after going through the two affidavits in support of the motion including that of extreme urgency, Justice Waziri, held that the request has merit and therefore was granted.

“After careful perusal of the a annexture of the MRDD 1 to 5 alongside written address of counsel urging me to grant the application, I am of the view that the application is pregnant with merit and must be granted.

“I hereby grant the following order.

“The defendant here in, the INEC is restrained whether by themselves, their executives, servants, privies, representative nominees or any other person or persons from proceeding with the supplementary election in respect of Adamawa State Governorship pending the hearing and determination of the Motion on Notice.”

The Judge ruled that all the processes relating to the suit be served to Adamawa INEC in Yola in compliance with Order 6 of the Court.

The case was adjourned to March 21 for hearing of motion for the interlocutory injunction.

Speaking to journalists on the development, counsel to MRDD, Mr. Mustafa Shaba said the plaintiff, MRDD represented by the state chairman of the party, Ibrahim Umar, rushed to the court to complain against what he described as “serious infraction”.

“The party has come to court and fortunately the election has not been concluded to stop INEC from further breaching of the party’s candidate (Rev. Eric Theman) right.

“We want the logo to be place and the election to start afresh.

“What we apply for today is for Interim injunction restraining INEC as it is for now from proceeding until the needful is done,” Shaba said.

Meanwhile, INEC in the state has dismissed a court ruling, which restrained it from conducting a rerun of the governorship election in 40 polling units in the state.

Reacting to the ruling, the Resident Electoral Commissioner (REC) in the state, Kashim Gaidam, said the court lacked jurisdiction over the federal establishment, describing it as possible undue influence.

He said, “It is an order of a state High Court which has no jurisdiction over federal establishments. It is very surprising indeed. Could it be undue influence? Section 87 (10) of electoral law is also relevant. I am sure the commission will issue an official statement on the matter.”

After the first round of election on February 9, 2019, the candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party, Hamadu Fintiri, established a lead margin of 32,476 votes over the All Progressives Congress candidate, Jibrilla Bindow, who is seeking a second term in office.

In declaring the election inconclusive, INEC said the margin was lower than 40,998 votes that were declared

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