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Supplementary Gov. Election: Court order cannot stop election – REC



Nine days to the supplementary governorship election in six states, a Yola High Court, yesterday, stopped the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, from conducting the make-up poll in Adamawa, with the electoral umpire saying the court could not halt the exercise.

This happened on a day that the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, alleged that the Federal Government and the All Progressives Congress, APC, were plotting to use the military to manipulate the March supplementary governorship election in Sokoto. The party also boasted that it will win the re-run polls inspite of APC’s antics.

Apart from Adamawa and Sokoto, supplementary governorship polls will also be held in Bauchi, Plateau, Benue and Kano.

Indeed, the outcome of the March 9 governorship election is still raising dust in the polity. The opposition PDP and All Progressive Grand Alliance, APGA, rejected the outcome of the poll in Nasarawa as hoodlums numbering over 200, yesterday, went on rampage in Karu Local Council and vandalized property estimated at millions of Naira. They were protesting against last Saturday’s governorship election results released by INEC in the state.

Also, the Coalition of United Political Parties, CUPP, alleged that the Presidency and the ruling APC were plotting to instigate violence in Taraba State in order to declare a state of emergency.

Contacted on the allegations of plotting to rig the polls with the military or instigate crisis in Taraba so as declare emergency rule in the state because it lost the governorship election, APC National Publicity Secretary, Mallam Lanre Issa-Onilu, said elections were over and the party would not respond to infantile statements.

‘’I don’t respond to PDP’s infantile statement any more. Elections are over and we have very important things to focus on,’’ he said.

The Yola High Court handed down an order restraining the INEC from conducting the supplementary election in Adamawa, following a request to that effect by Movement for the Restoration and Defence of Democracy, MRDD.

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Counsel to the Adamawa chapter of MRDD, Mr Mustafa Shaba, filed the request over the absence of the party’s logo on the ballot paper used for the March 9 inconclusive election.

Delivering the ruling after going through the two affidavits in support of the motion including that of extreme urgency, Justice Abdul-Aziz Waziri, held that the request has merit.

His words: “After careful perusal of the a annexture of the MRDD 1 to 5 alongside written address of counsel urging me to grant the application, I am of the view that the application is pregnant with merit and must be granted. I hereby grant the following order.

“The defendant here in, the INEC is restrained whether by themselves, their executives, servants, privies, representative nominees or any other person or persons from proceeding with the supplementary election in respect of Adamawa State Governorship pending the hearing and determination of the Motion on Notice.”

The Judge ruled that all the processes relating to the suit be served to Adamawa INEC in Yola in compliance with Order 6 of the Court.

The case was adjourned to March 21 for hearing of motion for the interlocutory injunction.

Reacting to the ruling, the Resident Electoral Commissioner, Barrister Kassim Gaidam, said the commission is not aware of any court case banning it from conducting the supplementary election.

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However, let me tell you that court order will not stop any election”

He cited Section 87 sub section 10 of the Electoral Act to buttress his point.

Nothing in this section shall empower the court to stop the holding of primary or general election or the process thereof under this act pending the determination of a suit,” the REC said.

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