A Federal High Court in Abuja has declined jurisdiction in a suit filed by the Governor of Kogi State, Captain Idris Wada, against the All Progressives Congress and the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC).
The judgment was delivered on Friday, a day to the scheduled supplementary election, by Justice Gabriel Kolawole.
Governor Wada had asked the court to declare him the winner of the November 21 governorship election, following the death of the candidate of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Mr Abubakar Audu, who was leading.
But Justice Kolawole said that only an Election Tribunal could adjudicate such suit.
He said that the role of the judgement was to create a judicial and permissive atmosphere for INEC to conduct the supplementary election scheduled for December 5.
‘Idle Judicial Indulgence’
The judge further said that it was his view that where the court did not have affirmative powers to make declarative orders, it would amount to idle judicial indulgence to proceed with the suit.
Justice Kolawole on Tuesday adjourned for judgment after all the parties adopted their final written addresses on contentious legal issues that arose after the sudden death of the candidate of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Mr Abubakar Audu, before the election was concluded.
The court had consolidated four separate suits challenging the legality of the scheduled supplementary election, with the Justice saying that there was need for the court to expeditiously determine the issues “so that INEC will not conduct the election under a grave shadow of doubt as to the legal or constitutional validity”.
Other persons who filed suits, Johnson Usman, Emmanuel Daikwo and Emmanuel Igbokwe were asking the court to rule that a fresh governorship election should be conducted in the state.
INEC had declared the governorship election held on November 21 inconclusive, even as it fixed Saturday to conduct a run-off poll.
The electoral body said it declared the election inconclusive because the margin between the leading candidate, Late Audu and the second contestant, the incumbent Governor and candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party, was less than the number of cancelled votes.