January 09, (THEWILL) – A Federal High Court in Kano has ordered the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to recognise and publish the names of Bashir Ishaq Bashir and his running mate, Alhaji Auwalu Abdullahi, as the Labour Party’s legally nominated candidates for the 2023 gubernatorial election in Kano State.
The ruling followed suit filed by Bashir, urging the court to compel INEC to accept and deem the hard 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) Electoral Act, 2022 as a candidate seeking to contest the 2023 Gubernatorial Elections.
He also appealed to the court to direct INEC to publish his name as the valid candidate under the Labour Party for the March 11 governorship election in Kano State,
Bashir argued that since he had won the LP primary election for the Governorship on October 20, in Kano, after the voluntary withdrawal of the placeholder, in the person of Muhammad Raji Abdullahi and had submitted his name to INEC in accordance with the law, the commission could not disqualify him.
Justice M.N Yunusa, in his judgement, ordered that Bashir and Auwal, having fulfilled all the legal requirements prescribed under the constitution and the Electoral Act 2022, are entitled to all the rights and benefits of their candidature as a validly nominated Governorship and Deputy Governorship candidates of the LP in Kano State.
“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.
“This is notwithstanding the negligent acts of a third party in non-compliance to the Electoral Act, 2022 which adversely affects the plaintiff’s candidacy”, he ruled.
Justice Yunusa also declared that any Gubernatorial election conducted by INEC in Kano State without Bashir’s name being published and included as one of the contestants for the Kano State Gubernatorial poll is illegal, unconstitutional, null and void.
He consequently ordered INEC to accept and deem the hard copy of Form EC9 submitted on 20 October as lawful and sufficient to meet the requirement of Section 29 (2) of the Electoral Act, 2022 as a candidate.