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Ndokwa Vanguard

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Court stops prosecution of suspended Adamawa REC

Jul 10, 2023

The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) was on Monday, July 19, barred by a federal high court sitting in Abuja from prosecuting the suspended Adamawa Resident Electoral Commissioner (REC), Hudu Yunusa-Ari, over his declaration of Aisha Dahiru, the All Progressives Congress (APC) candidate, as governor in the March 18 poll.

The order was given by Justice Donatus Okorowo after Michael Aondoaka (SAN), counsel to Dahiru, moved the ex-parte motion to the effect, following a lawsuit filed by APC governorship candidate in the election, Aisha Dahiru. 

According to Aondoaka, the election petition tribunal decides the fate of his client in accordance with Section 149 of the Electoral Act, 2022. He added that this makes the prosecution of Yunusa-Ari invalid.

The lawyer argued that INEC’s decision to file an action against any person involved in Dahiru’s April 15 declaration as winner of the supplementary poll in the state when the tribunal is yet to determine the petition of his client, would deprive her of 180 days allowed by Section 285(6) of the law, for her petition to be looked into.

Aondoaka also noted that a similar suit was earlier filed before Justice Inyang Ekwo where a judicial review of INEC’s action was sought. He said the sister court ordered Binani to approach a tribunal with her suit, as it is an election-related matter.

He concluded by stating that an undertaking had been signed to prove to the court that the present suit was not frivolous. The senior lawyer further disclosed that they are ready to face any cost should the court find the case to be frivolous.

Justice Okorowo thereafter ordered the parties to maintain the status quo ante bellum pending the hearing and determination of the matter.

After adjourning the matter until July 18 for a hearing, he ordered the respondents to show cause on why the reliefs sought by Dahiru, popularly called “Binani” should not be granted.

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