Politics

Court orders INEC to recognise Kano’s Labour Party gubernatorial candidate

Labour Party Nigeria

A Federal High Court in Kano has ordered the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to recognise and publish Bashir Ishaq Bashir and Alhaji Auwalu Abdullahi as the Labour Party’s validly nominated governorship candidate and running mate for the 2023 election.

The first plaintiff, Bashir, filed a lawsuit asking the court to order INEC to accept and deem the paper copy of Form EC9 (affidavit in support of particulars of persons seeking election to elective offices in Nigeria) as lawful and sufficient to meet the requirements of Section 29 (2) of the Electoral Act, 2022 in order to run for governor in 2023.

He also asked the court to order INEC to announce him as the Labour Party’s official candidate in the upcoming Kano State Gubernatorial election on March 11.

Bashir argued that INEC had no authority to disqualify him because he had followed the law and submitted his name to the commission after winning the LP primary election for the Governorship on October 20 in Kano following the voluntary withdrawal of the placeholder in the person of Muhammad Raji Abdullahi.

Having met the qualifications for nomination as Governor and Deputy Governorship candidates of the LP in Kano State as outlined in the constitution and the Electoral Act 2022, Justice M.N. Yunusa ruled that Bashir and Auwal are entitled to all the rights and advantages of their candidature.

“The plaintiff, having fulfilled all the legal requirements prescribed under the constitution and the Electoral Act 2022 to stand for a legislative election, are entitled to all the rights and benefits of their candidature as a validly nominated candidate of the LP for the 2023 Governorship elections,” Justice Yunusa said.

“This is notwithstanding the negligent acts of a third party in non-compliance to the Electoral Act, 2022 which adversely affects the plaintiff’s candidature.”

A gubernatorial election in Kano State held by INEC without listing Bashir as a candidate is illegal, unconstitutional, and null and void, the judgement said.

Consequently, he directed INEC to recognise the candidate’s hard copy of Form EC9 submitted on October 20 as valid and adequate to fulfil the requirement of Section 29 (2) of the Electoral Act, 2022.

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