A Federal High Court in Kano has ordered the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, to recognise and publish the names of Bashir Ishaq Bashir and his running mate Auwalu Abdullahi as the legally nominated candidates of Labour Party for the 2023 Kano State gubernatorial election.
Mr Bashir had filed the suit to compel 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) Electoral Act, 2022 as a candidate seeking to contest the 2023 Gubernatorial Elections.
He also prayed the court to direct INEC to publish his name forthwith as the valid candidate of the Labour Party for the March 11 guber polls.
The candidate had also argued that the commission was wrong to disqualify him since he had won the LP primary election for the governorship on October 20, 2022 in Kano and his name was validly submitted his name to INEC in accordance with the law, following the voluntary withdrawal of Raji Abdullahi.
Delivering the judgement on Monday, Justice M.N Yunusa, ordered that Messrs Bashir and Auwal, having fulfilled all the legal requirements prescribed under the constitution and the Electoral Act 2022, were entitled to all the rights and benefits of their candidature as validly nominated governorship and deputy governorship candidates of the LP in Kano State.
“The plaintiff, having fulfilled all the legal requirements prescribed under the constitution and the Electoral Act 2022 are entitled to all the rights and benefits of their candidature as a validly nominated candidate of the LP for the 2023 Governorship elections.
The judge further declared that any gubernatorial election conducted by INEC in Kano State without Mr Bashir’s name being published and included as one of the contestants is illegal, unconstitutional, null and void.
He consequently ordered INEC to accept and deem the hard copy of Form EC9 submitted on 20 October to it as lawful and sufficient to meet the requirement of Section 29 (2) of the Electoral Act, 2022 as a candidate.