A Federal High Court sitting in Abuja has dismissed a suit challenging the decision of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to conclude, collate and announce the governorship election result from Tafawa Balewa Local Government in Bauch State.
Mohammed Abubakar, incumbent Governor of the state and candidate of the All Progressives Congress (APC), had challenged INEC’s decision to collate the results.
However, on Monday, the Presiding Judge, Justice Iyang Ekwo, ruled that the court lacks the jurisdiction to entertain the matter.
After the March 9 governorship election, Kyari Mohammed, INEC's Returning Officer, had rejected the result of Tafawa Balewa Local Government because it was not documented in the original sheet, which according to the Collation Officer, had been hijacked by thugs.
INEC declared the election inconclusive and fixed the date for a supplementary election. However, a committee it instituted to review the election recommended resumption of result collation.
That ought to have taken place on Wednesday March 20, but Abubakar challenged the process in court, prompting INEC not to announce a winner despite conducting supplementary election three days later.
Dismissing the suit, Justice Ekwo, said: There is no debate that the issues of election are completely handled exclusively by the tribunal... “I make an order dismissing this case. The defendant (INEC) should be allowed to continue its constitutional duty."