Binani withdraws suit challenging outcome of Adamawa guber poll
A federal high court in Abuja has dismissed a suit filed by Aisha ‘Binani’ Dahiru seeking to be affirmed as the winner of the Adamawa state governorship election.
Inyang Ekwo, the presiding judge, dismissed the suit at the court session on Wednesday following a notice of discontinuance filed by the All Progressives Congress (APC) candidate through her lawyer.
Mohammed Sheriff, Binani’s counsel, had asked the court to strike out the suit.
However, the judge held that the lawyer failed to address the court on the issue of jurisdiction as ordered on April 18.
Consequently, Ekwo said the appropriate order would be to dismiss the suit.
The Adamawa governorship supplementary election was conducted on April 15 following the declaration of the March 18 poll as inconclusive over alleged irregularities.
After voting ended, the collation of results began at the state collation centre — but the exercise was suspended after results from 10 LGAs were announced.
However, Hudu Yunusa-Ari, the resident electoral commissioner, declared Binani as the winner before the collation resumed on April 16.
Yunusa-Ari made the declaration when outstanding results were yet to be announced.
The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) subsequently described his action as null and void.
The electoral body said the declaration of a winner is the responsibility of the returning officer.
Subsequently, Binani approached the court with an ex-parte motion.
Binani applied for leave of the court to allow her to seek “an order of prohibition and certiorari removing to this court for the purpose of being set aside the administrative decision of the 1st respondent made on 16th April 2023 in respect of the declaration of the winner from the gubernatorial election of Adamawa state held on the 18th of March, 2023 and the supplementary election held on 15th April, 2023”.
The APC candidate also requested an order “preventing the 1st respondent, its agent, assign or any person acting on its behalf from taking any further steps towards the declaration of the winner from the gubernatorial election of Adamawa state held on the 18th of March and the supplementary election held on 15th April 2023, pending the determination of the application for judicial review”.
She claimed that the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and its candidate, Ahmadu Fintiri, resorted to stirring violence after she was declared the winner.
She averred that INEC staff were caught up in the violence and were manhandled which caused the electoral commission to cancel the initial declaration.
Binani also submitted that INEC lacks the power to cancel an election result as such power is constitutionally vested in the election petition tribunal.