A Federal High Court in Abuja, yesterday, stopped the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) from collating results of the governorship election of March 9 in Bauchi State.
Justice Inyang Ekwo made the order, yesterday, following an ex parte application filed by the All Progressives Congress (APC) and the incumbent governor of the state, Mohammed Abubakar.
The judge granted an interim injunction restraining INEC from resuming, concluding and announcing the governorship election result in Tafawa Balewa Local Government Area of the state, pending the determination of all issues raised by the APC and Gov. Abubakar in their originating summons.
Earlier, Justice Ekwo had on Monday directed INEC to appear in court on Tuesday to show cause why the court should not grant the request by APC and the governor to stop the collation.
INEC, however, through its counsel, Tanimu Inuwa (SAN), brought a motion challenging the jurisdiction of the court to entertain the matter.
But counsel to APC and Gov. Abubakar, Ahmed Raji (SAN), objected to the application of INEC and informed the court that the order issued on Monday asking the electoral body to show cause had not been obeyed, adding that except the court grants the application, the subject matter before the court would be destroyed.
He drew the attention of the court to INEC's press statement through its National Commissioner in charge of Information and Voter Education Committee, Festus Okoye, dated March 15, 2019, announcing that the electoral body will resume collation of the Bauchi governorship election.
Subsequently, the court refused INEC counsel's application to address the court orally on the order to show cause, and granted the interim injunction halting further collation of results.
The court granted accelerated hearing in the matter, and directed parties to appear before it today.
Based on the directive of the court, our correspondents report that INEC had halted the process.
Speaking to our reporter on telephone, INEC's Resident Electoral Commissioner (REC) in Bauchi, Ibrahim Abdullahi, said they received the court order and had stopped the collation process.
He, however, disclosed that they will go ahead with the collation of the state House of Assembly elections result for Tafawa Balewa which was not affected by the court's order.