Binani Drags INEC To Court Over Nullification of Declaration

Aisha Dahiru, popularly known as “Binani,” the candidate of the All Progressives Congress (APC) in the Adamawa governorship election, has once again taken legal action against the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) regarding the annulment of her declaration as the governor of Adamawa following the March 18 governorship election.

Binani, represented by her lawyer, Michael Aondoaka, SAN, filed a new lawsuit before Justice Donatus Okorowo of the Federal High Court in Abuja.

In the ex-parte motion labeled as FHC/ABJ/CS/935/2023, the APC candidate named INEC, the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), and its candidate, Governor Ahmadu Fintiri, as the first, second, and third respondents, respectively.

Once again, Binani requested a judicial review of INEC’s decision to overturn her previous announcement as the winner of the election by the state’s Resident Electoral Commissioner (REC), Hudu Yunusa-Ari.

During the hearing of the motion on Monday, Aondoaka argued that the election petition tribunal possessed the authority to determine the fate of his client, in accordance with Section 149 of the Electoral Act, 2022.

He said the decision of INEC would deprive Binani of Section 285(6) which gives 180 days within which her petition filed before the tribunal on May 6 could be dispensed with.

The senior lawyer, who informed the court that though a similar suit was earlier filed before Justice Inyang Ekwo, said the sister-court ordered Binani to approach a tribunal her suit, having being an election-related matter.

He, therefore, sought a review of the INEC’s action.
He said an undertaking had been signed to prove to the court that the present suit was not frivolous.

He said in the undertaking, they were ready to face any cost should the court found the case to be frivolous.

After listening to Andoaka, Justice Okorowo stood down the matter for ruling.

Recall that Binani had, on April 26, withdrew the suit before Justice Ekwo, following the declaration of Fintiri as the winner of the governorship poll.

Binani’s counsel, Mohammed Sheriff, upon resumed hearing in the matter, had told Justice Ekwo that a notice of discontinuance had been filed to that effect and urged the court to strike out the case.

Justice Ekwo reminded Mr Sheriff that an order was given on the last adjourned date directing him to address the court on whether the court had the jurisdiction to entertain the case or not.

The lawyer, who informed the court that a lot of issues had come up between the last date of adjournment and today, begged for an order striking out the suit.

The judge, however, held that since Mr Sheriff had failed to go by the order of the court, the appropriate thing to do was to dismiss the matter.

The judge, consequently, dismissed the suit.