A Federal High Court in Abuja has ordered the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to stay action in respect of its planned resumption collation of the suspended results for Tafawa Balewa Local Government in respect of the last governorship election in Bauchi State. Justice Inyang Edem Ekwo, in a bench ruling on Tuesday ordered parties
A Federal High Court in Abuja has ordered the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to stay action in respect of its planned resumption collation of the suspended results for Tafawa Balewa Local Government in respect of the last governorship election in Bauchi State.
Justice Inyang Edem Ekwo, in a bench ruling on Tuesday ordered parties in a suit by the All Progressives Congress (APC) and the incumbent Governor, Muhammed Abubakar maintain the staus quo.
The judge ordered “That parties shall maintain status quo ante pending this proceeding pending the determination of the substantive matter of this case.”
The judge subsequently adjourned to March 20 for hearing.
The judge made the order on Tuesday following INEC’s failure to comply with the earlier order he made on Monday (March 18) for it to appear on March 19 and show cause why the reliefs sought by the plaintiffs in their motion ex-parte should not be granted.
APC and Abubakar had, in their motion ex-parte prayed the court for two main reliefs:
*An order of interim injunction restraining the defendant/respondent whether by Itself or acting through its agents, privies or any person on its behalf, howsoever described, from resuming, concluding and/or announcing the collation of the results of the Tafawa Balewa Local Government Area of Bauchl State in respect of election to the office of the Governor of Bauchi State held on 9’” March, 2019, pending the hearing and determination of the plaintiff/applicant’s motion on notice.
*An order of accelerated hearing and abridgement of time to two days within which the defendant/respondent is to enter appearance and file its response in defence of the suit.
Rather than granting the reliefs ex-parte, the court, on Monday ordered INEC, listed as the sole defendant in the suit to show cause why the plaintiffs’ reliefs should not be granted.
The judge said: “The defendant is hereby ordered to appear in court on 19th March 2019 to show cause why the orders prayed on the motion ex-parte ought not to be granted.”
When parties got to court on Tuesday, INEC, represented by Tanimu Inuwa (SAN) told the court that the electoral body has filed a counter-affidavit to the plaintiffs’ originating summons.