Hope dashed for arraignment of suspended Adamawa REC

Hopes that the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, would charge suspended Resident Electoral Commissioner, REC, in Adamawa State, Hudu Yunusa-Ari before a state high court, has been dashed.

The is because a Federal High Court sitting in Abuja, on Monday, stopped INEC, from prosecuting Yunusa-Ari.

Yunusa-Ari would have been arraigned over his declaration of Aisha Dahiru, the All Progressives Congress, APC, governorship candidate in the March 18 poll, winner of the election.

An Adamawa State High Court sitting in Yola had adjourned till July 12, 2023, for the arraignment of Yunusa-Ari.

Trial judge, Justice Donatus Okorowo, stopped INEC from arraigning Yunusa-Ari, in an ex-parte order, granted following the suit by Mr. Michael Aondoaka, SAN, counsel to Dahiru.

The court granted the ex-parte motion to the effect.

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In the ex-parte motion, the APC candidate in the poll, sued INEC, Attorney-General of the Federation, AGF, and another as as respondents.

Aondoaka while moving the motion on Monday, contended that until the election petition tribunal decides the fate of his client in accordance with Section 149 of the Electoral Act, 2022, the prosecution of Yunusa-Ari cannot be said to be valid.

He argued that the decision by INEC to file action against any person involved in Dahiru’s April 15, declaration as winner of the supplementary poll in the state when the tribunal was yet to determine the petition of his client, would deprive her of Section 285(6) of the law which gives 180 days within which the petition filed on May 6 should be dispensed with.

He informed the court that though a similar suit was earlier filed before Justice Inyang Ekwo, where a judicial review of INEC’s action was sought, he said the sister court ordered Binani to approach a tribunal with her suit, having being an election-related matter.

He said an undertaking had been signed to prove to the court that the present suit was not frivolous.

He said in the undertaking, they were ready to face any cost should the court found the case to be frivolous.

Justice Okorowo in a short ruling, ordered the parties to maintain status quo ante bellum pending the hearing and determination of the matter.

The judge, who adjourned the matter until July 18, for hearing, ordered the respondents to show cause while the reliefs sought by Dahiru, should not be granted.

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