Senator Aisha Ahmed Binani, the All Progressives Congress (APC) governorship candidate in the 2023 Adamawa State governorship election, has petitioned the Federal High Court in Abuja for a judicial review of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) administrative decision declaring her the winner of the governorship election held on March 18 and April 15, 2023.
Senator Binani is also seeking an order of prohibition and certiorari stopping INEC and its officials from proceeding with the declaration of the election winner awaiting the outcome of her judicial review suit.
The application was filed in accordance with Order 34 Rules 1a, Order 3(1) & 3(2) a, b, c, Order 6 of the Federal High Court (Civil Procedure Rules) 2019, Section 251 (1)q & r of the 1999 Constitution, and Sections 149 & 152 of the Electoral Act 2022.
Binani, who currently represents Adamawa Central in the Senate, stated that after collating the governorship election results, INEC (1st Respondent) declared her the winner, but the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and its candidate, Governor Ahmadu Ummaru Fintiri, who were sued as the 2nd & 3rd Respondents respectively, resorted to fighting and disturbing public peace, resulting in the attack on an INEC National Commissioner.
This situation, she claimed, prompted INEC to rescind the initial declaration, which it had no authority to do because only the Election Petition Tribunal has such authority.
Senator Binani alleged that INEC usurped the powers of the Election Petition Tribunal by canceling her declaration as the winner. The Election Petition Tribunal is the only court empowered with powers on a declaration from the conduct of an election.
Senator Binani, through her lawyers led by Hussaini Zakariyau, SAN, stated in court documents that a judicial review exists to allow the superior court to checkmate the actions and decisions of lower courts as well as the legislative and administrative arm of government, including agencies and public officers.
The applicant further claimed that because the INEC is a government organization, its acts, records, and decisions can be scrutinized by the court, and that only a court can overturn an INEC official’s activities, not the INEC itself.
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