Bauchi Guber: Court Restrains INEC from Collating, Announcing Result

A Federal High Court, Abuja, Tuesday, restrained the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), from going ahead with the collating and announcing the result of the Bauchi State governorship election of March 9.
Justice Inyang Ekwo, gave the order yesterday following an ex-parte application filed by the All Progressives Congress (APC), and Bauchi State governor, Mohammed Abubakar.
The APC and Abubakar prayed Justice Ekwo in the application for an interim injunction restraining INEC from collating, concluding and announcing result of Tafawa local government area of the state, which the electoral umpire had earlier declared inconclusive, and had ordered supplementary election.
In the originating summon, challenging the decision of INEC to resume collation of the result, the plaintiffs urged the court to compel INEC to go ahead with the election scheduled for March 23 rather than reverse itself.
In his bench ruling, the judge granted the interim injunction, restraining INEC from resuming , concluding and announcing the governorship result in Bauchi state, pending the determination of all issues raised in the originating summon.
Justice Ekwo also granted accelerated hearing and ordered the two parties to appear in court before him Wednesday to present their positions in the substantive matter.
The judge had on Monday ordered INEC to appear before him Tuesday to show cause why the order sought by the two plaintiffs ought not to be granted.
Rather than comply with the order of the court , INEC represented by Tanimu Inuwa, at yesterday’s proceedings approached the court with a motion, challenging its jurisdiction.
Counsel to the two plaintiffs, Ahmed Raji, objected to the application of INEC.
He reminded Justice Ekwo of Monday’s order which asked the electoral body to show cause why the request of the plaintiffs should not granted.
Raji told the court that the business before the court was to determine whether the earlier order had been complied with.
He drew the attention of the court to a press statement issued by one Festus Okoye, INEC national commission and Chairman, Voter Education Committee, dated March 15, announcing that the electoral been would resume collation of votes, adding that except the court grants the interim order, the subject matter of the plaintiffs would be destroyed.
Counsel to INEC in his response admitted that the order to show cause has not been complied with and requested to address the court orally.
The judge turned down the request.
Justice Ekwo held that since the ex-parte application was duly served on INEC, it follows that the defendant appear before the court with a formal response.
The matter was adjourned till Wednesday, March 20.

Author: News Editor

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