A Federal High Court in Abuja has dismissed a suit filed by the Governor of Bauchi State, Mohammed Abubakar and the All Progressives Congress (APC) challenging the decision by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to resume collation exercise in the state’s gubernatorial election.
INEC had declared the election inconclusive on the grounds that the number of cancelled votes was higher than the margin of lead between the two top political parties.
But the electoral umpire reversed itself, saying it would resume collation because it found out that the number of cancelled votes was tampered with, a decision Abubakar and the APC challenged in court.
In a judgment on Monday, Justice Inyang Ekwo declined jurisdiction and disagreed with plaintiffs’ lawyer, Ahmed Raji (SAN) that the suit related to pre-election matters.
Justice Ekwo set aside the order for maintenance of status quo earlier made by the court and ordered INEC to proceed with its activities geared at concluding the governorship election in Bauchi State.
The judge upheld INEC’s preliminary objection to the suit and directed that the electoral body should be allowed to conclude its constitutional responsibilities in relation to the Bauchi Governorship election, following which any aggrieved party could approach an election tribunal.