A Federal High Court sitting in Abuja has ordered the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to continue with the collation of results for the Bauchi governorship election.
Justice Inyang Ekwo issued the order on Monday delivering judgement in the suit filed before the court by the All Progressives Congress (APC) and its governorship candidate, Mohammed Abubakar.
The APC and Abubakar, who is the state’s incumbent governor, had approached the court to challenge the decision of INEC to resume collation in Tafawa Balewa Local Government Area of the state.
The plaintiffs questioned that the defendant could not suddenly change its decision after it was previously announced that a supplementary election would be conducted, following the declaration of the poll in the affected LGA as inconclusive.
However, Justice Ekwo, who had granted the initial order restraining INEC from conducting election in Tafawa Balewa LGA during last Saturday’s re-run, declined the court’s jurisdiction to hear the substantive case on the matter.
The judge held that his court has concurrent jurisdiction with the Election Tribunal to hear the case filed by the APC and Governor Abubakar.
He, however, stated that the Election Tribunal would be more suited to listen to the merits of the case of the plaintiffs, adding that the tribunal has a broader jurisdiction to entertain the petition.
Justice Ekwo then ruled that “the defendant (INEC) should be allowed to continue its constitutional duty.”
“There is no legal impediment before the defendant to go on with the decision of the defendant to execute its decision in its press release,” the judge held.