June 12, 2024

The Supreme Court has reserved judgment in the appeal by the All Progressives Congress (APC) and its governorship candidate, Aisha Dahiru, popularly called Binani, against the governor of Adamawa state, Ahmadu Fintiri.

The tribunal and Court of Appeal had dismissed Binani’s petition challenging the victory of Finitiri in the governorship election held last year.

The five-member panel led by John Okoro adjourned the matter for judgment after listening to the arguments of the parties involved in the matter.

The main contention of Binani, through her counsel, Akin Olujimi, at the day’s proceeding, is that the controversial declaration by the Resident Electoral Commissioner, Hudu Ari, was lawful.

That judgment aligned with the verdict of the tribunal on October 28 which dismissed Binani’s petition for failing to prove her allegations of over-voting by not tendering documents to prove her case faulting the outcome of the election.

Legal Tussle

Monday’s decision came months after the Court of Appeal affirmed the victory of Fintiri of the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) as Governor of Adamawa State and dismissed Binani’s challenge as lacking in merit.

It also awarded the cost of N500,000 in favour of Fintiri and the PDP against Binani.

Fintiri’s Win

Before the legal tussle, the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) had declared Fintiri as the winner of a dramatic governorship poll.

Fintiri polled 9,337 votes besting Senator ‘Binani’ who scored 6,513 votes.

But in a controversial move, Ari, while collation was going on, prematurely declared Binani as the winner of the election. This was contrary to the provisions of Section 25 of the Electoral Act, 2022 which gives only the returning officer the right to declare election results for governorship polls.

Immediately after the announcement, INEC declared the pronouncement as of no effect. It thereafter suspended the collation of results of the supplementary election in Adamawa and invited the REC, Returning Officer, and all officials involved to report to the Commission’s Headquarters in Abuja.

Later on, police authorities arrested Ari, confirming that the INEC REC was in their custody. He is still in court facing charges.

 

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