Following the declaration of All Progressives Congress (APC), Senator Aisha Binani Dahiru as the winner of the Adamawa guber re-run election by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) Resident Electoral Commission (REC) Habu Ari, as of when collation was still ongoing, Binani has dragged the electoral body to Federal High Court in Abuja, seeking a judicial review to void her declaration as the winner of the governorship elections held on March 18 and the supplementary poll of April 15, 2023.
According to Senator Dahiru, INEC has no power to cancel the declaration of a candidate as winner of an election, adding that the power resides in the election tribunal, not INEC.
In an exparte application, Senator Dahiru is also seeking a court order to stop INEC and its agents from taking any further steps towards the declaration of the winner of the elections pending the determination of her application for judicial review.
In her grounds of argument, the Senator stated that after the collation of results, INEC (the first respondent) declared her the winner of the elections but that the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and its candidate, Governor Ahmadu Fintiri (2nd & 3rd respondents) resorted to fighting and causing a public disturbance which led to the beating and manhandling of an INEC officer.
This crisis, she said, led INEC to cancel the initial declaration which it had no power to do, as only the election petition tribunal is vested with such powers.
Senator Binani contends that by cancelling her declaration, INEC had usurped the powers of the election petition tribunal which is the only court vested with powers to reverse a declaration in the conduct of an election.
In documents put before the court, Senator Dahiru, through her lawyers led by, Hussaini Zakariyau, SAN, said a judicial review exists to enable the superior court to check the actions and decisions of inferior courts as well as the legislative and administrative arms of government, including agencies and public officers.
She further submitted that INEC, being an agency of the government, can have its actions, records, and decisions checked by the court, even as she asserted that only a court can nullify the actions of an INEC official, not INEC itself.