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Agbakoba asks INEC to postpone Bauchi North senatorial elections

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Olisa Agbakoba (SAN) has called on the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to postpone the Bauchi North senatorial district elections.

Agbakoba said the call is to allow for the resolution of a pending suit at the Federal High Court in Abuja.

The suit with No. FHC/ABJ/CS/1240/2018, is between Usman Abubakar Tuggar and Adamu Muhammad Bulkachuwa, All Progressives Congress and Independent National Electoral Commission.

Agbakoba’s call is coming hours after he expressed reservations over the reported request by the Minister of Justice, Abubakar Malami, to INEC to postpone Zamfara elections because of the exclusion of the APC.

Read also: #NigeriaDecides: Oshiomhole writes INEC to recognise APC Zamfara candidates

The full letter is below:

February 14, 2019

The Chairman
Independent National Electoral Commission
Plot 436, Zambezi Crescent
Maitama, FCT Abuja

Dear Mr. Chairman,

RE: REQUEST TO POSTPONE THE 2019 BAUCHI NORTH SENATORIAL DISTRICT ELECTIONS PENDING THE DETERMINATION OF SUIT NO. FHC/ABJ/CS/1240/2018

We write to request that you postpone the 2019 Bauchi North Senatorial District Elections scheduled to hold on February 16, 2019. This is because, Suit No. FHC/ABJ/CS/1240/2018 between Usman Abubakar Tuggar Vs Adamu Muhammad Bulkachuwa, All Progressives Congress and Independent National Electoral Commission, is pending for hearing at the Federal High Court, Abuja.

Recall that by our letter dated February 8, 2019 (see attached), we advised that the suit is pending in Court, and that there is a pending application filed by the Plaintiff, seeking a postponement of the 2019 Bauchi North Senatorial District Elections. We enjoined the Commission, which is also a party to the suit, and represented in Court; to postpone the 2019 Bauchi North Senatorial District Elections, pending the hearing and determination of the Plaintiff’s application.

The matter came up on February 13, 2019, but was adjourned to March 13, 2019, well after the February 16, 2019 date for the elections. The application to postpone the 2019 Bauchi North Senatorial District Elections was not heard by the Court. As a result, the Court could not make a direct positive order on the matter.

However, as you may know, the Supreme Court in Peter Obi v INEC (2007) 11 NWLR (Pt. 1046) 610, has warned that the Court does not allow litigants/parties to a pending litigation to foist on the court a fait accompli and thus render the decision of the court utterly nugatory. The Plaintiff’s case is on all fours with the Peter Obi v INEC case, where the Supreme Court emphasized that where there is a pending litigation, “a body that has respect for rule of law, which INEC ought to be, would have waited for the outcome of the Court proceedings; particularly when it was aware of it.”

Moreover, the Plaintiff has shown that a grave injustice will be meted out not only to himself, but also the vast majority of the people across the seven (7) Local Governments that comprise the Bauchi North Senatorial District, who came out en masse and exercised their constitutional right to vote for him. There is also a very strong likelihood that there will be unrest and serious breach of the peace across Bauchi North Senatorial District if the Bauchi North Senatorial District Election holds before the Suit determines the validly nominated Senatorial Candidate of the 2nd Defendant for the forthcoming 2019 Bauchi North Senatorial District Elections.

In light of the foregoing, we request that you postpone the 2019 Bauchi North Senatorial District Elections, in view of pending litigation.

Yours faithfully,
For: Olisa Agbakoba Legal

Dr. Olisa Agbakoba, SAN
Senior Partner

Cc: The Registrar,
Honourable Justice Ojukwu’s Court
Federal High Court, Abuja

S.I. Ameh (san) & Co,
(Jubilee Chambers),
21 Onitsha Crescent,
Off Gimbiya Street, Area 11,
Garki, Abuja.

All Progressive Congress
16 Blantyre Avenue,
Wuse II, FCT, Abuja

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