A High Court in Yola, Adamawa State, has restrained the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) from conducting the supplementary governorship election in Adamawa, earlier billed for March 23.
The ruling by Justice Abdul-Aziz Waziri followed a request to that effect filed by counsel to the Adamawa chapter of the Movement for the Restoration and Defence of Democracy (MRDD), Mr. Mustafa Shaba, over absence of the party’s logo on the ballot paper of the election declared inconclusive by INEC.
Delivering the ruling after going through the two affidavits in support of the motion, including that of extreme urgency, Justice Waziri, held that the request had merit and, therefore, was granted.
“After careful perusal of the a annexture of the MRDD 1 to 5 alongside written address of counsel urging me to grant the application, I am of the view that the application is pregnant with merit and must be granted.
“I hereby grant the following order: The defndant, here in, the INEC, is restrained whether by themselves, their executives, servants, privies, representative, nominees or any other person or persons, from proceeding with the supplementary election in respect of Adamawa State governorship pending the hearing and determination of the motion on notice,” hr said.
The judge ordered that all the processes relating to the suit be served to Adamawa INEC in Yola in compliance with Order 6 of the court.
The case was adjourned to March 21 for hearing of motion for the interlocutory injunction.
Speaking to newsmen on the development, counsel to MRDD, Mr. Mustafa Shaba, said the plaintiff, MRDD, represented by the state chairman of the party, Ibrahim Umar, rushed to the court to complain against what he described as “serious infraction.”
“The party has come to court and fortunately the election has not been concluded, to stop INEC from further breaching of the party’s candidate (Rev. Eric Theman) rights.
“We want the logo to be placed and the election to start afresh.
“What we apply for today is for interim injunction restraining INEC as it is for now from proceeding until the needful is done,” Shaba said.
Meanwhile, the state chapter of the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) said the court order restraining INEC from conducting the supplementary governorship election in Adamawa has vindicated the party.
Alhaji Ahmed Lawal, state organising secretary of the party, made this known on Thursday while reacting to the court order.
Lawal said that the party had earlier objected to the entire governorship election, claiming that it was marred by many irregularities.
He called on APC supporters to remain calm as they get ready to go into another governorship election.
According to him, APC will win if the process were fair.
The MRDD petitioned an Adamawa High Court on the omission of its party logo on the ballot paper during the March 9, 2019, governorship election.
The court has subsequently issued an order restraining INEC from conducting a rerun election in the state.
Regardless, INEC has dismissed the ruling, saying the court lacked juridiction to handle the case.
The INEC resident electoral commissioner in the state, Kashim Gaidam, said the court lacked jurisdiction over the federal establishment, describing it as possible undue influence.
He said, “It is an order of a state high court, which has no jurisdiction over federal establishments. It is very surprising indeed. Could it be undue influence? Section 87 (10) of electoral law is also relevant. I am sure the commission will issue an official statement on the matter.”