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Adamawa Guber: Court Throws Away Binani’s Request



Adamawa Guber: Court Throws Away Binani’s Request

A federal high court in Abuja has refused to hear an ex-parte application by Aisha ‘Binani’ Dahiru seeking to restrain the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) from invalidating her declaration as winner of the Adamawa state governorship election.

At the court session on Tuesday, Inyang Ekwo, presiding judge, asked Binani’s lawyer, Mohammed Sherif, to first address the issues of jurisdiction before hearing the substantive motion.

The court ordered Binani to file her address on whether the court has jurisdiction to hear the application within two days.

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Afeez Matomi, counsel to Ahmadu Fintiri, governor of Adamawa, who was in court was not allowed to make submissions since the APC candidate brought the action through an ex-parte application.

Ekwo thereafter adjourned the suit till April 26.

The Adamawa governorship supplementary election was conducted on Saturday following the declaration of the March 18 poll as inconclusive over alleged irregularities.

The collation of election results was suspended till Sunday after results from 10 LGAs were announced.

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However, INEC discontinued the exercise after Hudu Yunusa-Ari, the resident electoral commissioner, declared Binani, candidate of the All Progressives Congress (APC), as the winner.

Yunusa-Ari made the declaration when outstanding results were yet to be announced — but the electoral umpire subsequently described his action as null and void.

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The electoral body said the declaration of a winner is the responsibility of the returning officer.

This made Binani approach the court with an ex-parte motion.

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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 wants 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”.

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She claimed that the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and its candidate, 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 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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Hammed Tajudeen is a graduate of Osun State Polytechnic, Iree with Higher National Diploma (HND) in Mass Communication


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