A state high court in Yola has maintained its order that the governorship supplementary election scheduled for Saturday would not hold.
Justice Absul-azeez Waziri on Thursday ruled that the order he granted earlier, stopping all election processes in respect of the supplementary election remained in force.
The suit was filed by the candidate of the Movement of the Restoration and Defence of Democracy (MRDD)/Rev. Eric Theman challenging the exclusion of his party’s logo on the ballot papers in the 9th March election.
Citing Section 25 Sub Section 1 of the Constitution which states that “INEC being a federal organ challenging its decision should be through a federal high court not a state high court.”, the lead counsel to INEC, Tanko Inuwa (SAN) asked the court to discharge the injunction on grounds that it lacked the jurisdiction to entertain the case.
He further argued that the issues before the Section 285 Sub Section 2 of the constitution placed conduct of election in the purview of election tribunals.
He said that MRDD had no locus to approach the court because they had not validly nominated governorship candidate.
Adjourning the case to March 26 for ruling, Justice Waziri said he needed time to study all documents submitted by counsels to the parties.
Earlier, counsel to the PDP and that of its candidate, Ahmadu Fintiri, Barr. Joseph K Gadzama (SAN) and Okechukwu Udeze (SAN) respectively asked the court to join their clients in the suit.
Barrister Adeyemi Pitan, counsel to MRDD and Eric Theman, however opposed the motion of the two parties, saying the two applications were not served on him in due time.
The court had earlier on 14 March granted the order but INEC continued with preparation for the election with the Resident Electoral Commissioner in the state, Barr. Kassim Gaidam arguing that the court lacked powers to stop the election. He however shifted his position later Wednesday when he indicated readiness INEC would abide by whatever the court decided on Thursday.