The All Progressives Congress governorship candidate in Adamawa State, Aisha Dahiru, alias Binani, has approached the Federal High Court in Abuja, seeking to stop the prosecution of the Resident Electoral Commissioner for Adamawa State, Hudu Yunusa-Ari.
The Independent National Electoral Commission had last week announced that it was set to prosecute the REC for declaring Binani winner of the Adamawa State governorship election in controversial circumstances.
INEC said charges had been filed against Yunusa-Ari and that he would be arraigned on on Wednesday, July 12.
However, Binani, through her lawyer, Michael Aondoakaa (SAN), approached Justice Donatus Okorowo, with an ex parte application praying that the scheduled arraignment of the REC be stopped.
In the ex parte motion marked FHC/ABJ/CS/935/2023, she listed as respondents INEC and the Attorney-General of the Federation.
Aondoakaa, while moving the motion on Monday, argued that until the election petition tribunal decides the fate of his client in accordance with Section 149 of the Electoral Act, 2022, the prosecution of Yunusa-Ari would be illegal.
He said the decision of INEC to file charges against any person involved in the April 15 declaration of Binani as winner of the supplementary governorship poll, when the tribunal had yet to determine her petition, would violate the provisions of Section 285(6) of the Electoral Act.
Aondoakaa told Okorowo that his client had earlier approached Justice Inyang Ekwo of the same court with a suit seeking a judicial review of INEC’s decision to reverse her declaration as winner of the poll.
Aondoakaa noted that Justice Ekwo dismissed Binani’s suit and asked her to rather go before the election tribunal.
He said now that his client had gone before the tribunal, prosecuting the REC, who declared her as winner of the poll, would undermine her case before the tribunal.
Aondoakaa said an undertaking had been signed to prove to the court that the present suit was not frivolous.
He said his client was ready to pay the cost should the court find the case to be frivolous.
After listening to Andoaka, Justice Okorowo ordered the parties to maintain status quo ante bellum, pending the hearing and determination of the matter.
The judge, who adjourned the matter until July 18 for hearing, ordered the respondents to show cause while the reliefs sought by Binani should not be granted.