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Court vacates order stopping Adamawa’s supplementary election

By Umar Yusuf with agency report
Yola – Adamawa High Court sitting in Yola Tuesday has vacated the ex parte motion stopping the conduct of the Adamawa supplementary election by INEC.

Presiding Judge, Justice Abdul-Azeez Waziri, vacated the order in a ruling he delivered.

Electoral Commission Officers await for voters as a polling station opens at Agiya polling station in Yola, Adamawa State, Nigeria on February 23, 2019, the day of the general elections. – Nigerians began voting for a new president on February 23, after a week-long delay that has raised political tempers, sparked conspiracy claims and stoked fears of violence. Some 120,000 polling stations began opening from 0700 GMT, although there were indications of a delay in the delivery of some materials and deployment of staff, AFP reporters said. (Photo by AFP)

The court vacated the order following the inability of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to conduct the poll in 44 polling units in the state.

Delivering a ruling, Justice Abdul-Azeez Waziri, held that the court had jurisdiction to entertain the case.

He also approved the oral application by counsel to PDP gubernatorial candidate, Ahmadu Fintiri, Mr Joe Gadzama (SAN) and counsel to PDP, Mr Hamidu Tukur to join the suit as interested party.

He, fixed Wednesday for hearing of the origination summons.

Recalled that Adamawa Chapter of the Movement for the Restoration and Defence of Democracy (MRDD) and its gubernatorial candidate, Rev. Eric Theman, had dragged INEC to the court over the absence of the party logo on the ballot paper of the inconclusive election.

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Reacting to the judgement, the Adamawa Resident Electoral Commissioner of INEC, Mr Kassim Gaidam said INEC would meet over development and take decision on next line of action.

On March 14, the court ordered an injunction restraining the INEC from conducting a supplementary governorship election in Adamawa State on 23rd March.

Waziri in the order said: “I hereby make the following orders: The defendant herein the Independent National Electoral Commission is restrained whether by themselves, their agents, servants, representatives, nominees or any other person from proceeding with the supplementary election with respect to Adamawa State Governorship pending the hearing and determination of Motion on notice.”

INEC had ordered a rerun in six states, including Adamawa State.

INEC declared the poll inconclusive after collating results from all the 21 local government areas in the state.

The state returning officer, Andrew Haruna, said the margin of votes between Fintiri who scored higher votes and his All Progressives Congress counterpart, Gov. Muhammad Jibrilla, is lesser than total votes voided in about 40 polling units.

Haruna said there are 40,988 votes that were cancelled in 44 polling units across the state. The margin between the two parties was 32,476.


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