A Federal High Court sitting in Jalingo, the Taraba State capital on Wednesday evening ordered the Independent National Electoral Commission to enlist Senator Emmanuel Bwacha as the governorship candidate of the All Progressive Congress in the state.
The APC Taraba State chapter had approached the Federal High Court to compel INEC to upload and enlist the name of Bwacha and the logo of the party in the ballot paper ahead of the governorship election.
The Supreme Court had nullified the primary elections that produced Bwacha as the APC governorship candidate.
The presiding judge, Justice Bala Usman, resolved that the name of Emmanuel Bwacha be published in the INEC portal if deleted as the governorship candidate of the APC in the state.
“This lower court does not have the power to interpret the judgment of the Supreme Court, I am concerned with the fresh election conducted on February 10. It is not within my privy to interpret it and I don’t intend to do that,” he said.
Reacting to the judgement, Counsel to Bwacha, Festus Idepefo, SAN, said the conduct of the primary election was monitored by INEC.
He explained that if anyone was dissatisfied with the conduct of the primary, the aggrieved party should file a pre-election matter.
“Nobody filed a pre-election matter to challenge the primary election. What the court decided was that in the absence of any contestation over that issue of the primary election, the INEC has no power to exercise the power of the court to delist the name of Emmanuel Bwacha from their cyber having accepted the nomination made to it by the political party.
“The INEC can not midway to the election exercise the power of a court since nobody is complaining about the outcome of the primary conducted by the All Progressives Congress on 10 February 2023.”
Also in a reaction, the spokesman for the Bwacha Governorship campaign Organization, Aaron Artimas, said the judgement was a relief for the APC family in Taraba.
He added that the development would put a stop to the rumour making the rounds that the APC has no governorship candidate in the state.