Justice Inyang Ekwo of the Federal High Court in Abuja today issued an order that stops the Independent National Electoral Commission, (INEC) from going ahead to collate and announce the results of Tafawa Balewa Local Government Area of Bauchi State.
Justice Ekwo gave the order while ruling on an exparte application filed by the All Progressive Congress (APC) and the Governor of Bauchi state, Mohammed Abubakar over the March 9th governorship election conducted in that local government.
The APC and Abubakar are asking the court for a declaration that INEC cannot review what a collation officer has cancelled. They are also insisting that INEC, having made a pronouncement for a supplementary election, cannot go back on it. They further maintained that the powers of the electoral officer, having declared the election inconclusive, could only be upturned by a court.
The court asked the parties to maintain the status quo until the substantive suit was heard and decided on.
The matter was adjourned until March 20 for definite hearing.
INEC had announced that it would no longer go ahead with a supplementary election in Bauchi state but would continue with the collation of results in the remaining local government area. APC and the state governor is however arguing that the results the electoral body says it will go ahead to read has already been cancelled by the collation officer.