Court adjourns suspended Adamawa REC’s rights suit for judgment 

Court adjourns suspended Adamawa REC’s rights suit for judgment 
January 12 20:39 2024 Print This Article

A Federal High Court, Abuja has fixed Feb. 1 for judgment in a suit filed by Hudu Yunusa-Ari, the suspended Resident Electoral Commissioner in Adamawa, to seek for protection against arrest, detention or harassment by the police and others.Justice James Omotosho fixed the date in order to reduced the workload on the docket of the court.

When the matter was called for judgment, Justice Omotosho made announcement of some cases, including Hudu-Ari’s matter, for adjournment.

Counsel for all the parties, including Mr Emeka Ozoani, SAN, who appeared for INEC, unanimously agreed to Feb. 1 date.

Recalled that the suspended REC had, in a suit marked: FHC/ABJ/CS/563/2023, sued the Inspector-General (I-G) of Police, and the Nigeria Police Force as 1st and 2nd respondents.

Also joined in the suit filed by his lawyer, Jibrin Okutepa, SAN, include the Attorney-General of Federation and Minister of Justice, Director of Department of State Services (DSS) ans Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) as 3rd to 5th respondents respectively.

Yunusa-Ari, who sought eight reliefs, prayed an order of perpetual injunction, restraining the respondents from arresting, detaining or causing his arrest or detention, harassment or intimidation for carrying out his lawful duties as the INEC REC in Adamawa during the supplementary governorship election held in the state on April 15, 2023.

He also sought an order directing the respondents to publish an apology in two national dailies “for the unlawful and unconstitutional media trials and negative press interviews, press statements/release, social media posts, publications etc against” him for carrying out his lawful duties as INEC REC.

Giving six grounds, he said he was the REC during Feb. 25, 2023 and March 18, 2023, general elections, including the supplementary poll on April 15, 2023.

He said after the general elections, he issued an interim report which raised a lot of criminal issues against security agencies and some INEC staff.

He said the respondents only considered part of his report, leading to the conduct of a supplementary governorship and state house of assembly elections on April 15, 2023 in the state.

He averred that upon the conclusion of the supplementary poll, he wrote his report and to his total shock and dismay, instead of investigating the persons named in his report and the issues raised in the said report, the respondents had continuously embarked on media trials against him.

Yunusa-Ari alleged that the respondents and their agents, without any valid judgment and conviction by a competent court, had made several press and social media pronouncements against him that he was guilty of a criminal offence in the performances of his lawful duties as INEC REC.

He described the acts as “a gross violation of his constitutional right to fair hearing.”

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