A Federal High Court in Abuja, on Monday, restrained the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) from prosecuting the suspended Resident Electoral Commissioner (REC) for Adamawa, Hudu Yunusa-Ari.
The NewsZenith reports that INEC had suspended Yunusa-Ari for declaring Aisha Dahiru, APC candidate, as winner of the governorship election on March 18.
Justice Donatus Okorowo gave the order after Michael Aondoaka (SAN), counsel to Dahiru, moved an ex-parte motion to that effect.
In the ex-parte motion marked: FHC/ABJ/CS/935/2023, the APC candidate sued INEC, Attorney-General of the Federation (AGF) and another as respondents.
Aondoaka argued that until election petition tribunal decides the fate of his client in accordance with Section 149 of the Electoral Act, 2022, the prosecution of Yunusa-Ari cannot be said to be valid.
He said INEC’s decision to file suit against any person involved in Dahiru’s April 15 declaration as winner of the supplementary poll in the state when the tribunal was yet to determine the petition of his client, would deprive her of Section 285(6) of the law.
The section gives 180 days within which the court should dispense with the petition filed on May 6.
Aondoaka informed the court that his client had earlier filed a similar suit before Justice Inyang Ekwo.
At that court, he said his client sought for a judicial review of INEC’s action.
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He said the sister court ordered Binani to approach a tribunal with her suit, having been an election-related matter.
The counsel said he signed an undertaking to prove to the court that the present suit was not frivolous.
In the undertaking, he said his client was ready to face any cost should court deems the case frivolous.
After listening to Andoaka, Justice Okorowo ordered all parties to maintain status quo ante bellum.
This is pending the hearing and determination of the matter.
The judge ordered the respondents to show cause while court should not grant reliefs sought by Dahiru, popularly called “Binani”.
He then adjourned the matter until July 18 for a hearing.
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