2023 Elections: Appeal Court Slams INEC, Says It Acted Irresponsibly

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The Appeal Court sitting in Abuja, on Friday descended heavily on the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, accusing it of being partisan.

The Appellate Court said it was embarrassing that the Commission could appear before it to act in favour of a party in an election dispute, by disowning documents that is not only issued but only duly certified.

It decried that the electoral body has continued to “dance naked in the market”, even though it was meant to assume a neutral stand in election litigations.

“The INEC as an Institution should be reminded of its role in an election, to be an unbiased umpire between parties. “It should stop behaving Irresponsibly, having in mind that its duty to conduct election has a direct bearing on peace and well-being of the Country.

“The role of INEC in election dispute should be limited to the tendering of all documents used in an election and explaining that they were used for and how they were obtained.

“INEC should stop dancing naked in the market, pretending that no one is seeing its nakedness and its dance steps”, the Court stated while delivering judgment in a Bauchi State House of Assembly Election Appeal.

The lead Judgement of the Three-member panel of the Court was delivered by Justice K I Amadi.

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The panel, in its unanimous decision nullified the the election of the Bauchi State House of of Assembly, Abubakar Suleiman, who was earlier declared the winner of Ningi Central Constituency in the State by INEC.

The Court held that evidence before it established that the election was inconclusive.

Aside from voiding the Certificate of Return that was issued to Suleiman who contested on the platform of the Peoples Democratic party, PDP, the appellate Court directed INEC to conduct a supplementary poll in 10 polling units in the State within 90 days.

The Court further awarded a cost of N500,000 against INEC.

The Judgement followed an Appeal that was brought before the Court by the candidate of All Progressives Congress, APC, in the election, Khalid Abdulmalik-Ningi.

INEC had declared that Suleiman of the Peoples Democratic party, PDP, polled a total of 16,866 votes to defeat his closest- rival, Abdulmalik-Ningi of the APC, who scored 15,065 votes i the election that was held on March 18.

Credit: Vanguard.

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About James Moses 1746 Articles
James Moses is a 9News Nigeria news correspondent reporting from Jos, Plateau State. He is an experienced writer, journalist and blogger. He is passionate and flair for Politics, Sports and Entertainment reporting. Contact James Moses via his email address: jjmoses00@gmail.com