Court Restrains INEC, AGF From Prosecuting Suspended Adamawa REC, Yunusa-Ari


Hudu Yunusa-Ari
Hudu Yunusa-Ari

An Abuja High Court has stopped the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) from prosecuting the suspended Adamawa Resident Electoral Commissioner (REC), Hudu Yunusa-Ari, over his declaration of Aisha Dahiru (Binani), as winner of the State’s governorship poll.

The Presiding Judge, Donatus Okorowo, gave the order on Monday after Michael Aondoaka, counsel to Dahiru, moved the ex-parte motion.

In the ex-parte motion marked: FHC/ABJ/CS/935/2023, the All Progressives Congress (APC) candidate (Binani), sued INEC, the Attorney-General of the Federation (AGF) and another as respondents.

While moving the motion, Aondoaka argued that until the 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 valid.

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Aondoaka said the decision of INEC to file action against any person involved in Dahiru’s April 15 declaration as winner of the State’s supplementary poll when the tribunal was yet to determine the petition of his client, would deprive her of Section 285(6) of the law which gives 180 days within which the petition filed on May 6 should be dispensed with.

The Senior Advocate of Nigeria, who informed the court that though a similar suit was earlier filed before Justice Inyang Ekwo where a judicial review of INEC’s action was sought, said the sister court ordered Binani to approach tribunal with her suit, having been election-related.

The lawyer revealed that an undertaking had been signed to prove to the court that the present suit was not frivolous.

He said in the undertaking, they were ready to face any cost should the court find the case insignificant.

Justice Okorowo, having listened to APC’s counsel, ordered the parties to maintain the status quo ante bellum pending the hearing and determination of the matter.

Okorowo however adjourned the matter until July 18 for hearing and ordered the respondents to show cause while the reliefs sought by Dahiru, should not be granted.