Supreme Court Reserves Judgement In Binani’s Appeal Against Fintiri

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The Supreme Court of Nigeria has reserved judgment in the appeal filed by Aishatu Dahiru Ahmed Binani of the All Progressives Congress.

A five-member panel led by John Okoro on Monday adjourned the matter for judgment after listening to the arguments of the parties in the matter.

Binani’s counsel, Akin Olujimi, had argued that the declaration made by then-Adamawa State Resident Electoral Commissioner (REC), Hudu Yunusa-Ari, that she won the 2023 governorship election was lawful.

Binani had challenged the election of Governor Ahmadu Umaru Fintiri at the Governorship Election Petition Tribunal and the Court of Appeal.

But her petition was dismissed on both occasions.

Overt news had previously reported how the Court of Appeal sitting in Abuja affirmed the election of Fintiri in December 2023.

The panel of three judges dismissed the appeal filed by Binani and affirmed the decision of the Governorship Election Petition Tribunal.

Delivering the judgment, the presiding judge, Justice Tunde Oyebamiji Awotoye, awarded N500,000 in favour of each of the three respondents.

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Binani alleged several irregularities and substantial non-compliance with the Electoral Act.

She hinged her case on non-accreditation, improper accreditation, overvoting, violence, and snatching of election materials, among other irregularities.

She argued that Fintiri’s election could not stand because there were multiple declarations of winner and returns made, as according to her, she was earlier declared the winner by the REC, Yunusa-Ari.

As such, she maintained that the election had two different declarations of a winner.

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Fintiri received 9,337 votes in the supplementary election held in the state, defeating Binani who came second in the contest with 6,513 votes.

The supplementary election was held in 69 polling units among the state’s 20 local administrations, with fewer than 40,000 eligible voters.

The final results were announced by the INEC Returning Officer in the state, Mohammed Mele.

Mele, a professor, said the PDP governorship candidate had met the constitutional requirement and thereby returned as governor of the state.

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