A federal high court in Kano has ordered the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to recognize and publish Bashir Ishaq Bashir’s name as the Labour Party’s officially nominated candidate for governor of Nigeria in 2023, with Alhaji Auwalu Abdullahi serving as the nominee’s running mate.
Bashir had asked the court to order INEC to accept and deem the hard copy of the 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) of the Electoral Act of 2022 as a candidate seeking to run in the 2023 gubernatorial elections.
He requested that the court order INEC to immediately publish his name as the Labour Party’s legitimate candidate for governor of Kano State in the upcoming election on March 11.
The politician said that since he had legally submitted his name to INEC and had won the LP primary election for governor on October 20 in Kano after the voluntary withdrawal of the incumbent, Muhammad Raji Abdullahi, the commission was unable to disqualify him.
According to Justice M.N. Yunusa’s decision in the matter, Bashir and Auwal are eligible for all the rights and benefits associated with their candidacy as duly nominated candidates of the LP for governor and deputy governor of Kano State and have satisfied all the legal requirements outlined by the constitution and the Electoral Act 2022.
“The plaintiff is entitled to all the rights and benefits of their candidacy as a duly nominated candidate of the LP for the 2023 Governorship elections, having satisfied all the legal requirements prescribed under the constitution and the Electoral Act 2022 to stand for a legislative election,” said Yunusa.
This is in spite of a third party’s careless actions that violate the Electoral Act of 2022 and harm the plaintiff’s campaign.
The high court judge further ordered that any governorship election held in Kano State by INEC without Bashir’s name being made public and listed as one of the candidates is unlawful, unconstitutional, null, and invalid.
Furthermore, INEC was instructed to accept and recognize the hard copy of Form EC9 as being valid and adequate to satisfy the requirements of Section 29 (2) of the Electoral Act of 2022 as a candidate.