The candidate of the New Nigeria People’s Party (NNPP) for Doguwa/Tudunwada federal constituency, Salisu Yushau, has filed a motion on notice and a petition seeking an order to stop the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) from conducting the supplementary election for the constituency.
Yushau is the main challenger of the Majority Leader of the House of Representatives, Alhassan Ado Doguwa, who was earlier declared the winner of the constituency’s poll, but whose victory was reversed by the electoral umpire due to the margin of victory principle.
INEC had therefore fixed April 15 to conduct the supplementary election along with other elections not yet concluded across the country.
However, not satisfied with this, the candidate of the NNPP approached the National and State House of Assembly Election Petition Tribunal sitting in Kano through the motion on notice seeking an order to stop INEC from conducting supplementary elections in the constituency.
The motion on notice was accompanied with a petition also submitted to the tribunal but addressed to INEC chairman, Mahmood Yakubu and dated April 3 drawing the attention of the electoral body to the pendency of the motion on notice.
In the petition which was received by INEC on April 4 , the petitioner’s lawyer, Adegboyega Awomolo (SAN), said it was in pursuant to Section 24 (6) of the Electoral Act, 2022 that the Motion on Notice was filed before the Tribunal.
“seeking an Order directing the Commission to maintain status quo ante bellum particularly with respect to the conduct of the re-run/supplementary elections scheduled to hold on 15h April 2023.
Arguing on the strength of Section 24 (6) of the Electoral Act 2022, the senior lawyer submitted that INEC cannot conduct supplementary election in the constituency as the decision of the commission is being challenged at the tribunal by their client, adding that going ahead with the supplementary election may have the effect of “foisting upon the Tribunal a situation of complete helplessness.
Citing several decisions of the Supreme Court, the NNPP candidate’s lawyer submitted that it was a settled matter of law that where a matter has been presented before the court for adjudication, all parties are bound to “respect the court and await the determination of the adjudication of the matter and not resort to self help in dealing with the subject matter of the litigation. Where such is done, in contempt of court, the court is entitled to invoke its disciplinary powers before or in its judgment of the substantive matter.