Court dismisses suit seeking to halt Bauchi gov election collation

Bauchi Governor Mohammed Abubakar

A Federal High Court in Abuja has struck out a suit challenging the decision of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to resume collation of results of governorship election in Bauchi State.

Governor Mohammed Abubakar and the All Progressives Congress (APC) had filed the suit against INEC.

INEC had announced that it would resume collation because it found out that the number of cancelled votes was tampered with.

Justice Inyang Ekwo, in his judgement on Monday, declined jurisdiction and disagreed with claimants’ lawyer, Ahmed Raji, that the suit related to pre-election matters.

Ekwo said: “My view is that this court has jurisdiction to interpret the provision of the Constitution as to the alleged breach of the plaintiff’s fundamental right to fair hearing and interpret the provision of the Electoral Act tabled before the court.

“And also looking at the provision of Section 60 of Electoral Act, the court or tribunal can determine the issues thereof. It can then be said that there is concurrence of jurisdiction between this court and the Election Petition Tribunal on this issue.

“The difference in this case is that the alleged infringement occurred in the process of an election and the decision of the defendant in Exhibit B (the press releases issued by INEC on March 15, 2019) also occurred in the process of an election.”