Justice Inyang Ekwo of a Federal High Court, Abuja, has dismissed the suit filed by the All Progressives Congress, APC, candidate in the Adamawa governorship election, Aisha Dahiru-Ahmed, popularly called Binani.
The suit was against the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC).
Recall that the APC candidate had prayed the court to institute a judicial review of INEC’s decision to reverse her earlier announcement as winner of the poll by the state’s Resident Electoral Commissioner (REC), Hudu Yunusa-Ari.
Binani’s Counsel, Mohammed Sheriff, upon resumed hearing in the matter on Wednesday, told Justice Ekwo that a notice of discontinuance had been filed to that effect and urged the court to strike out the case, NAN reports.
The lawyer, who informed the court that a lot of issues had come up between the last date of adjournment and the present, begged for the suit to be struck out.
But Justice Ekwo reminded 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 judge held that since Sheriff had failed to go by the order of the court, the appropriate thing to do was to dismiss the matter.
“I hereby make an order dismissing this suit,” Justice Ekwo declared.
The judge had, on April 18, refused to hear an ex-parte motion filed by Binani.
Ekwo, instead, ordered the APC candidate’s counsel to address the court on the issue of jurisdiction before hearing the substantive motion.
The judge said though he was ready to hear Sheriff, the lawyer must address the court on the issue of jurisdiction before he proceeded.
He held that the application would be taken together with the issue of jurisdiction on the next adjourned date and adjourned until April 26 for a hearing.
The electoral umpire had, on April 19, declared the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP)’s candidate and Gov. Ahmadu Fintiri the winner of the governorship election held in the state
Binani and APC, in the motion ex-parte marked: FHC/ABJ/CS/510/2023, had sued INEC, PDP and its candidate, Gov. Fintiri as 1st, 2nd and 3rd respondents respectively.
Binani, through her lawyer, Hussaini Zakariyau, SAN, had sought a judicial review of the administrative decision of INEC on April 16 in respect of her declaration as the winner of the governorship elections held on March 18 and the supplementary poll of April 15.
She also sought an order of prohibition and certiorari preventing INEC and its agents from taking any further steps towards the declaration of the winner of the elections pending the determination of her application for judicial review.
Giving grounds why the motion should be granted, Binani stated that after the collation of results, INEC declared her as the winner of the elections but the PDP and its candidate, Governor Fintiri, resorted to fighting and causing a public disturbance which led to the beating and manhandling of an INEC staff.
This crisis, she said, led INEC to cancel the initial declaration which it had no power to do as only the election petition tribunal is vested with such powers.