2023 Election Headline News Nigeria Politics Taraba

Court orders INEC to enlist Bwacha as APC governorship candidate in Taraba

A Federal High Court sitting in Jalingo has ordered the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to enlist Senator Emmanuel Bwacha as the Governorship candidate for the All Progressives Congress (APC) in Taraba State.

The APC Taraba State chapter had approached the Federal High Court to compel INEC to upload and enlist Senator Bwacha’s name and the logo of the party in the ballot paper ahead of the Governorship Election.

The Supreme Court of Nigeria had on February 1, 2023, dismissed the Primary Elections that brought in Senator Bwacha as the APC Governorship candidate and ordered another primary election which Senator Bwacha won also.

The court, presided by Justice Bala Usman, ruled that the name of Emmanuel Bwacha be published in the INEC portal, if deleted, as the party’s governorship candidate.

Senator Bwacha had filed a suit at the Federal High Court, Jalingo division, requesting INEC to clear the controversy about whether his name was on the INEC portal or otherwise.

Justice Usman also said his ruling had nothing to do with the Supreme Court judgement.

He said: “I am strictly concerned with the fresh election conducted on February 10. It is not within my privy to interpret it and I don’t intend to do that.”

Counsel to Senator Bwacha, Festus Idepefo (SAN), recounted how his client emerged victorious in the case that lasted for days.

He said: “The conduct of the primary election was monitored by the commission, and so if anyone was dissatisfied with the conduct of the primary, there is only one way to challenge the outcome of the primary and it was for an aggrieved party to file a pre-election matter. Nobody filed a pre-election matter to challenge the primary election.

“What the court decided was that in the absence of any contestation over that issue of the primary election, the INEC has no power to exercise the power of the court to delist the name of Emmanuel Bwacha from their cyber, having accepted the nomination made to it by the political party has published the name of the candidate on the portal.

“The INEC cannot, midway to the election, exercise the power of a court since nobody is complaining about the outcome of the primary conducted by the All Progressives Congress on 10 February 2023.”

Also, a suit filed by David Sabo Kente to be joined as an interested party in the case has been struck out.

Reacting to the judgement of the Federal High Court, Aaron Artimas, the Spokesman for Senator Bwacha Governorship campaign Organization, said the judgement was a relief for all the APC family in Taraba state, and the development would douse the rumors making the rounds that the APC had no Governorship candidate in the State.

Writing by Abdullahi Lamino; Editing by Tony Okerafor