INEC had scheduled a supplementary election for March 23 after the initial March 9 election was declared inconclusive.
However, during a March 14 ruling, the court restrained the commission from conducting the election owing to an ex parte motion filed by the Movement for the Restoration and Defence of Democracy (MRDD) that claimed that its logo was excluded from the ballot paper for the March 9 election.
Even though the state’s Resident Electoral Commissioner (REC), Kashim Gaidam, disclosed that the court has no jurisdiction to stop the commission from conducting the election, he has now revealed that the commission will obey the order with the substantive hearing set to commence on Thursday, March 21.
“As a law abiding institution, we will respect the ruling of the court on the supplementary election,” Gaidam said during a press briefing on Wednesday, March 20.
He said the commission has filed appropriate notices and counter motions to fight the order in court.
“The commission will be represented by a team headed by a Senior Advocate before the High Court here in Yola tomorrow. And we would be waiting to hear the outcome or the decision the court will take tomorrow,” he said.
While delivering his ruling last week, Justice Abdul-Aziz Waziri said the MRDD’s application “is pregnant with merit and must be granted”.
“The defendant here in, the INEC is restrained whether by themselves, their executives, servants, privies, representative nominees or any other person or persons from proceeding with the supplementary election in respect of Adamawa State Governorship pending the hearing and determination of the Motion on Notice,” he ruled.
Adamawa governorship election
Following the conduct of the March 9 election, INEC declared the Adamawa governorship race inconclusive because the lead margin was lower than the total number of votes cancelled in certain areas.
With 367,471 votes, Umaru Fintiri of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) was in the lead over the incumbent governor, Jibrilla Bindow, of the All Progressives Congress (APC), who polled 334,995 votes, but the margin of 32,476 votes was lower than the 40,988 votes cancelled in 44 polling units.
According to the “Margin of Lead Principle” contained in Sections 26 and 53 of the Electoral Act and paragraph 41(e) and 43(b) of the INEC Regulations and Guidelines, the commission cannot declare a winner if the number of cancelled votes can mathematically affect the outcome of the election.
The supplementary election, scheduled for March 23, will take place only in the polling units where elections were cancelled.