Binani Asks Court To Stop INEC From Removing Her As Adamawa Governor-Elect

April 18, 2023
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The governorship candidate of the All Progressive Congress (APC) in Adamawa State, Aishatu Dahiru Binani has dragged the the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) before the Federal High Court in Abuja.

Binani Asks Court To Stop INEC From Removing Her As Adamawa Governor-Elect

KanyiDaily recalls that Binani was illegally declared the governor-elect of Adamawa by the Resident Electoral Commissioner (REC), Hudu Yunusa. following last Sunday’s supplementary election.

Yunusa had walked into the collation centre after the supplementary election was suspended on Saturday and announced Binani as the winner on Sunday when outstanding results were yet to be declared.

The APC governorship candidate was hoping to upstage the incumbent governor, Ahmadu Fintiri of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), who scored more votes during the main election on 18 March.

But INEC described Yunusa’s action as null and void, and reversed Binani’s declaration as winner of the election, which could have made her the first elected female governor in Nigeria’s history.

INEC said the Adamawa REC has no power to announce the winner of the election, noting that the responsibility solely lies with the state collation officer appointed by the commission.

Binani Drags INEC To Court

Binani approached the Federal High Court in Abuja, seeking a judicial review of the administrative decision of the INEC in respect of her declaration as the winner of Adamawa governorship election held on March 18 and April 15, 2023.

In the suit filed by her lawyers, led by Hussaini Zakariyau (SAN), Binani is seeking an order to prevent INEC and its agents from taking any further steps towards the declaration of the winner of the election pending the determination of her case.

She is seeking the leave of the court for a judicial review of the administrative decision of INEC in respect of her declaration as winner of the governorship elections held on March 18 and the supplementary elections of April 15.

Binani is also seeking an order of prohibition and certiorari preventing INEC and its agents from taking any further step towards the declaration of the winner of the elections pending the determination of her application for judicial review.

The application was filed pursuant to Order 34 rules 1a, order 3(1) & 3(2) a, b, c, Order 6 of the Federal High Court (Civil Procedure Rules) 2019 and Section 251 (1)q & r of the 1999 Constitution, as well as section 149 & 152 of the Electoral Act 2022.

On the grounds under which the application is brought, the governorship candidate stated that after the collation of results, INEC declared her as the winner of the elections but the PDP and its candidate, Governor Ahmadu Fintiri, who was sued as the 2nd & 3rd respondents resorted to fighting and causing a public disturbance which led to the beating and manhandling of an INEC official.

This crisis, she noted, led INEC to cancel the initial declaration which she said the commission had no power to do as only the election petition tribunal is vested with such powers.

By cancelling her declaration, Binani contends that INEC usurped the powers of the election petition tribunal, which is the only court vested with powers on declaration on the conduct of an election.

The APC candidate argued that “a judicial review exists to enable the superior court to checkmate the actions and decisions of inferior courts as well as the legislative and administrative arm of government including agencies and public officers.”

The applicant further submitted that INEC, being an agency of the government can have its actions, records and decisions checked by the court and only a court can nullify the actions of an INEC official and not the commission itself.

KanyiDaily recalls that Aishatu Dahiru Binani accepted the controversial result of the Adamawa State governorship election despite the cancellation of her victory by the INEC.

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