The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), has challenged the powers of the court to stop the collation and announcement of the Bauchi State governorship election result which was held on March 9.
This comes barely 24 hours after a Federal High Court in Abuja, restrained INEC from proceeding with the poll in the state.
The presiding judge, Justice Inyang Ekwo, had ordered the commission to stop the process having received an application from the All Progressives Congress (APC) and incumbent governor of the state, Mohammed Abubakar.
But not satisfied with the ruling, INEC through its legal department, insisted that the court has no jurisdiction to interfere in post-election litigation.
Hassan Adamu, INEC’s legal officer, filed a counter affidavit, on the basis that any post-election matter is exclusively reserved for the Election Petitions tribunal and not for any regular court.
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The electoral body had declared the governorship election in Bauchi inconclusive after the margin between the two leading candidates was said to be less than the number of cancelled votes.
According to the Returning Officer, Kyari Mohammed, results collated showed that the candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Bala Mohammed, polled 469,512 votes, while the incumbent governor and candidate of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Mohammed Abubakar, secured 465,453 votes.
INEC had later said it would resume the collation of results of Tafawa Balewa LGA after considering a report submitted by the REC.
Justice Ekwo, however, in his bench ruling fixed Thursday, March 21, for the hearing of all issues relating to the Bauchi governorship election.