Doguwa’s Fate Dims As NNPP Moves to Stop Supplementary Election

The candidate of the New Nigeria Peoples Party, NNPP, for the Tudunwada/Doguwa Federal Constituency, Salisu Yushau, has filed a petition before the National and State Houses of Assembly Election Petition Tribunal sitting in Kano, seeking order to stop INEC from conducting supplementary elections in the constituency.

According to News Digest, House Leader Alhassan Doguwa has earlier announced the winner of the February 25 Tudunwada/Doguwa Federal Constituency election, but INEC later withdrew the declaration of return and declared the election inconclusive.

The returning officer, Prof. Ibrahim Yakasai had written a letter to Kano resident electoral commissioner, Abdu Zango, saying that he returned Doguwa winner of the election under duress.

According to the Electoral Act 2022, INEC has powers to review within seven days any declaration made under duress or inviolation of the laws governing the conduct of the election.

In a letter dated April 3 and addressed to INEC chairman Mahmood Yakubu, the petitioner’s lawyer Adegboyega Awomolo, SAN, drew the commission’s attention to a Motion on Notice seeking order to stop INEC from conducting the supplementary polls.

“You may wish to further note that our Clients, pursuant to Section 24 (6) of the Electoral Act, 2022 filed a Motion on Notice before the Honourable 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.”

Relying on Section 24 (6) of the Electoral Act 2022, the NNPP candidate’s lawyers argued that INEC cannot conduct supplementary election in the constituency as the decision of the commission is being challenged at the tribunal by their client.

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Section 24 (6) of the act said, “The decision of the Commission under subsection (4) may be challenged by any of the contestants at a court or tribunal of competent jurisdiction and on such Challenge, the decision shall be suspended until the matter is determined.”

The petitioners further argued that, “it is settled principles of Law that once the defendant has been notified of the pendency of a Petition before the Election Tribunal, parties must stay all action pending the hearing and determination of the Petition.

“The law is that it is not permissible for any of the parties to take any step during the pendency of the suit which may have the effect of foisting upon the Tribunal a situation of complete helplessness. Both parties are expected to await the result of the litigation and the appropriate orders of court before acting any further.”

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