The Supreme Court on Wednesday dismissed an appeal by the All Progressives Congress and its governorship candidate in Adamawa state, Aisha Dahiru popularly known as Binani against Adamu Fintiri.

The Independent National Electoral Commission had declared Fintiri the winner of the March 18 governorship election and the supplementary election held on April 16, 2023.

However, the Adamawa Resident Electoral Commission, Hudu Ari had declared Binani as the winner of the poll before the conclusion of the election.

The apex electoral body then declared the announcement null and void and summoned the REC to its headquarters in Abuja.

The police subsequently arrested Ari over his conduct during the governorship election in Adamawa and granted him bail.

Ari is currently on trial at the Adamawa division of the Federal High Court.

At the Adamawa State Governorship Election Petition Tribunal and the Court of Appeal, Finitri’s election was upheld after the two lower courts rejected the appeals by Binani and the Social Democratic Party’s governorship candidate, Umar Ardo, for lacking merit.

The duo of Binani and Ardo took their appeals further to the apex court, urging the court to sack Fintiri.

The Supreme Court had on January 10 dismissed the appeal by Ardo for want of merit.

Reading the lead judgment on Wednesday, John Okoro held that the appeal by Binani lacked merit.

The court also condemned the conduct of the Resident Electoral Commissioner, Hudu Ari for declaring the appellant as the winner of the election, deeming the act irresponsible and criminal.

Okoro noted that the exclusive power to announce election results lies with the Returning officer and not the REC.

“Section 149 of the electoral act will only apply if the action taken is by the law. Officials who are deployed during the election are expected to carry out their duties within their scope of responsibility,” Okoro added.

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