The lawsuit brought by Senator Aisha Binani, the All Progressives Congress (APC) candidate for governor of Adamawa State, to halt the prosecution of Hudu Yunusa-Ari, the suspended Adamawa Resident Electoral Commission, was dismissed by a Federal High Court in Abuja.
According to Anaedoonline.ng, the court issued an interim order in response to Binani’s motion ex parte, ordering the Inspector General of Police (IGP), the Attorney-General of the Federation (AGF), and the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to continue with their current course of action in prosecuting Hudu.
Binani, through his attorney, M. K. Aondoakaa, SAN, filed an action with the filing number FHC/ABJ/CS/935/2023, asking for an interpretation of Sections 144 and 149 of the Electoral Act 2022.
Section 144 and 149 of the Electoral Act 2022 reads, “The Commission shall consider any recommendation made to it by a tribunal with respect to the prosecution by it of any person for an offence disclosed in any election petition.
“Notwithstanding any other provisions of this Act, any defect or error arising from any actions taken by an official of the Commission about any notice, form or document made or given or other things done by the official in pursuance of the provisions of the Constitution or of this Act, or any rules made thereunder, remain valid, unless otherwise challenged and declared invalid by a competent court of law or tribunal.”
In order for INEC to provide justification for why Hudu, her key witness in the Adamawa Tribunal, should not be charged while the Tribunal was in session, Binani attempted to temporarily restrain parties.
Rotimi Jacobs, the attorney for INEC, countered that the application was merely a theoretical exercise meant to prevent a court of coordinating jurisdiction from carrying out its duties.
“There is no order of this court extending the lifespan of this order on status quo,” Justice Donatus U. Okorowo declared as he lifted the temporary order after rendering his decision.
In his decision, the judge stated that a plaintiff could not legally ask the Federal High Court to halt proceedings at a court with coordinate jurisdiction.
Judge Okorowo observed that he lacks the power to bind a court of coordinate jurisdiction.
He said, “On the whole, the INEC objection succeeds; this case is struck out.”
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