Nigeria’s opposition party, the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) has accused Justice Ekwo Inyang, who ordered Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to stop final collation of Bauchi State governorship election results of violating the constitution of the country.
It has therefore dragged Justice Inyang to the National Judicial Council (NJC) asking the judicial body to urgently take action against the Federal High Court judge.
The judge had on Tuesday given an exparte order on INEC to halt further collation of Bauchi State governorship election results in Tafawa Balewa Local Government Area of the state.
But the PDP argued granting the exparte order stopping the conclusion of the governorship election was a violation of Section 87 ( 11 ) of the Electoral Act , which states that no court has the power or jurisdiction to stop any election pending the determination of a suit.
The party in an affidavit sworn to by the its national chairman, Prince Uche Secondus, in Abuja contended that issues of collation of results and declaration of a winner, is a post-election event and, therefore, falls under the Electoral Act and constitutional provisions for the election petition tribunal.
“Despite this clear provision of the law, Justice Ekwo decided to hear the application of Alhaji Mohammed Abubakar and his political party, the All Progressives Congress ( APC), within twenty four hours on 19 th March , 2019 and issued an order on INEC not to continue with the election until the case before him is finally decided.
“That the collation of results is a post -election event and under section 87 (11) of the Electoral Act , no court has the power or jurisdiction to stop any election pending the determination of a suit.
“That an election includes voting, collation of results and the declaration of results.
“That as a result of the order on the Independent National Electoral Commission, the conclusion of the Bauchi State Governorship election which was to take place on 19 th March 2019 was stalled.
“That the order of Justice Ekwo was made contrary to the provisions of the constitution of Nigeria, 1999 as amended dealing without fair hearing and also section 87 (11) of the Electoral Act.
“That the Chief Justice of Nigeria has constituted the various Election Petition Tribunals in Nigeria to handle such cases and the assumption of jurisdiction by Justice Inyang Ekwo is an affront to the constitution and electoral wishes of the people of Tafawa Balewa Local Government Area and Bauchi State who have clearly chosen their next governor in voting for the PDP’s candidate, Sen. Bala Mohammed,” the affidavit read in part.
He then prayed the NJC to save the nation’s democracy by taking an immediate step against the alleged violations by Justice Inyang.