A Federal High Court in Abuja on Tuesday , dismissed the suit by the Action Alliance Congress (AAC), seeking the order of court stopping the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) from collating and announcing the result of Rivers State governorship and state House of Assembly, for lack of jurisdiction.
The All Progressives Congress’ faction loyal to Transport Minister, Rotimi Amaechi had adopted AAC in the governorship election held in the state on March 9 after the court barred APC from fielding candidates in the election.
In dismissing the suit, Tuesday, Justice Inyang Ekwo, said once an election has been held, the Constitution ousts the power of federal high court to adjudicate on it.
Ekwo held that dispute arising from conduct of an election does not fall within the jurisdiction of the court but that of election petition tribunal.
According to EKwo: “This court has no jurisdiction to adjudicate on this matter. Once election has been held, the matter is no longer within the jurisdiction of this court.
“Post election matters do not belong to the realm of the federal high court,” the judge held.
The suit, marked FHC/ ABJ/CS/303/2019, had AAC, its governorship candidate in Rivers State, Biokpomabo Awara, and Ben-Gurion John Peter as the plaintiffs.
The respondents to the suit which was filed on March 18 were INEC and the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP).
The plaintiffs had challenged INEC’s decision to resume the announcement of the results of the election which it had earlier said was marred by violence and irregularities.
As part of the grounds for the application, the plaintiffs argued that INEC had earlier admitted that the election in Rivers State “was marred with substantial violence that compromised the credibility of the entire process, thereby suspending the election.”
The plaintiffs thus asked the court to stop INEC from going ahead to collate and announce the result.