Aisha Dahiru, alias Binani, the All Progressives Congress (APC) candidate in the Adamawa governorship election, has again sued the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) over the nullification of her declaration as governor of Adamawa in the March 18 governorship election.
Binani, through her counsel Michael Aondoaka, filed the fresh suit before Justice Donatus Okorowo of the Abuja Division of the Federal High Court.
In the ex parte motion marked FHC/ABJ/CS/935/2023, the APC candidate in the poll sued INEC, the Peoples Democratic Party, and its candidate, Governor Ahmadu Fintiri, as first, second, and third respondents, respectively.
Binani again sought a judicial review of the decision by INEC to reverse her earlier announcement as the winner of the poll by the state’s resident electoral commissioner, Hudu Yunusa-Ari.
Mr Aondoaka, while moving the motion on Monday, argued that the election petition tribunal was vested with the power to decide his client’s fate in accordance with section 149 of the Electoral Act, 2022.
He said the decision of INEC would deprive Ms Binani of section 285(6), which gives her 180 days within which her petition filed before the tribunal on May 6 could be dispensed with.
The senior lawyer, who informed the court that a similar suit was earlier filed before Justice Inyang Ekwo, said the sister court ordered Ms Binani to approach a tribunal for her suit, which was an election-related matter.
He, therefore, sought a review of INEC’s action. He said an undertaking had been signed to prove to the court that the present suit was not frivolous. In the undertaking, he said they were ready to face any cost should the court find the case frivolous.
After listening to Mr Andoaka, Mr Okorowo stood down for a ruling.
Ms Binani had, on April 26, withdrawn the suit before Mr Ekwo, following Mr Fintiri’s declaration as the winner of the election. Upon resuming hearing in the matter, her counsel, Mohammed Sheriff, told Mr Ekwo that a notice of discontinuance had been filed to that effect and urged the court to strike out the case.
Mr Ekwo reminded Mr Sheriff that an order was given on the last adjourned date directing him to address the court on whether the court had the jurisdiction to entertain the case or not.
The lawyer, who informed the court that many issues had come up between the last date of adjournment and today, begged for an order to strike out the suit.
The judge, however, held that since Mr Sheriff had failed to go by the court’s order, the appropriate thing to do was dismiss the matter.
The judge, consequently, dismissed the suit.