Seven states of the federation have discontinued their suit at the Supreme Court wherein they had sought an order of the apex court for a review of the just concluded presidential election.
The seven states comprising Adamawa, Akwa Ibom, Bayelsa, Delta, Edo, Taraba and Sokoto states had approached the apex court to challenge the conduct and subsequent collation and announcement of the February 25 presidential and National Assembly elections.
This Day reports states that the plaintiffs in the originating summons marked: SC/CV/354/2023, had specifically asked for an order, “directing a wholistic review of all results so far announced by the Federal Government of Nigeria through the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) which were carried out other than through the manner prescribed by the provisions of the Electoral Act, 2022, the INEC Regulations and Guidelines for the Conduct of Elections, 2022; and the INEC Manual for Election Officials.”
However, before the case could be listed for hearing, the plaintiffs through their lawyer brought a Notice of Discontinuance pursuant to the inherent powers of the apex court.
The notice dated March 3 and filed by Prof. Mike Ozekhome, SAN, read, “Take notice that the plaintiffs doth hereby wholly discontinue this suit against the defendant herein.
Although no reason was stated for the discontinuance, it is however believed to be due to the fact that results had already been announced and a President-elect declared and as such the proper place to ventilate their grievances over the outcome of the election is the Presidential Election Petition Tribunal.
The suit brought by the Attorneys General of the seven states was filed on February 28, barely a few hours before the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) announced Asiwaju Bola Tinubu of the All Progressives Congress (APC), as winner of the presidential election.
They predicated their case on the grounds that: “The collation of the national election results from the 36 States of the Federation, and that of the Federal Capital Territory, for the said 2023 Presidential and National Assembly elections have not been carried out in compliance with the mandatory provisions of relevant sections of the Electoral Act, 2022; the INEC Regulations and Guidelines for the Conduct of Elections, 2022, made pursuant to the provisions of the Electoral Act, 2022; and the INEC Manual for Election Officials, 2023.”
According to their lawyer, Ozekhome, the agents and officials of the federal government and INEC, failed to transmit the collated result as prescribed by the provisions of the Electoral Act, 2022; the INEC Regulations and Guidelines for the Conduct of Elections 2022; and the INEC Manual for Election Officials requiring transmission of the results by the use of Bimodal Voter Accreditation System (BVAS) in flagrant breach of the relevant provisions of the Electoral Act, 2022; the INEC Regulations and Guidelines for the Conduct of Elections, 2022; and the INEC Manual for Election Officials, 2023.
It is their submission that the “Non-Compliance with the due process of law has led to a widespread agitation, violent protests, displeasure, and disapproval from a wide spectrum of the Nigerian populace, including International Observers, Political parties, well-meaning Nigerians and former Head of States of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.”
They further claimed that the widespread violent protests, demonstrations and rallies have endangered the peace, order, good governance, security and safety of the Plaintiffs.