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Court dismisses Binani’s suit challenging Fintiri’s election



The Supreme Court on Wednesday dismissed the appeal filed by Aishatu Ahmed, also known as Binani, challenging the election of Gov. Ahmadu Fintiri of Adamawa.

Delivering judgment, he Justice John Okoro, held that the suit was lacking in merit.

Okoro also held that a resident electoral commissioner lacks powers to announce election results.

A five-man panel of the apex court led by Justice John Okoro delivered judgment.

Dahiru had asked the apex court to uphold the declaration made by embattled Hudu Yunusa, an INEC Resident Electoral Commissioner (REC) for being an official of the electoral umpire in line with Section 149 of the Electoral Act.

The Court of Appeal in Abuja had affirmed the election of Fintiri.

A three-member panel of the court had upheld the Oct. 28, 2023 decision of the Adamawa Governorship Election Petitions Tribunal, declaring Fintiri the winner of the March 18 poll.

Dahiru, widely known as Binani, the All Progressives Congress (APC) governorship candidate at the poll, had urged the court to sack Mr Fintiri who was the flagbearer of the PDP on account of INEC’s non-compliance with provisions of the Electoral Act 2022.

In the unanimous judgement, the three-member appellate court panel led by Tunde Awotoye, said Binani failed to prove allegations of non-compliance with the Electoral Act in the conduct of the March governorship election in Adamawa State.

It held that the appellant’s claim of electoral fraud in 14,104 polling stations was not substantiated.

“There is no way three witnesses can prove allegations of noncompliance in 14,104 polling units. Besides, the witnesses were not at the polling units but were campaign coordinators for the appellants”.

The justice equally noted that the record of proceedings transmitted from the tribunal and the briefs to the court were incomplete.

“On the whole, this appeal lacks merit and is accordingly dismissed.

The decision of the lower Tribunal is hereby confirmed,” the court awarded N1 million against the petitioners in favour of Fintiri and the PDP.

Ebere Agozie

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