From Godwin Tsa, Abuja
A High Court of the Federal Capital Territory(FCT), sitting in Garki division has dismmised a suit challenging the legitimacy of the assets declared by the Chairman of the Independent National Electoral Commission(INEC), Prof. Mahmood Yakubu.
Justice M. A Hassan in his judgment on Wednesday consequently barred security agencies from investigating the INEC boss over his valid assets declaration.
The judgment was in respect of an Originating Summons marked FCT/HC/GAR/CV/47/2022 filed by Somadina Uzoabaka against the Attorney General of the Federation and the Prof. Mahmood Yakubu.
In the dismissed suit, the Claimant had sought among other things an order of mandatory injunction directing and compelling the INEC Chairman to recuse, excuse and exclude himself and or step down as the Chairman of INEC pending the investigation and consideration of the various allegations against him by the various law enforcement agencies.
The Claimant also sought an order of Court barring the INEC Chairman from holding or assuming any public office for a period of 10 years.
However, in his counter affidavit, Prof Yakubu had through his ciunsel, Emeka Obegolu SAN, furnished the Court with several exhibits to show the sources of money for the purchase of the properties which the Claimant alleged were illegally acquired and insisted that his assets declarations were validly done.
Justice Hassan found that the declaration of assets by Prof. Yakubu was lawful, valid and in compliance with the law and that he cannot be investigated by any of the security agencies listed by the Claimant that should all investigate him.
The judge who declined to grant any of the 14 reliefs sought by the claimant declared that the INEC Chairman cannot be removed over fabricated allegations of false assets declaration. The judge therefore dismissed the claims of the Claimant and allowed the Counter-claim of the INEC Chairman.
A similar judgment was in March 2021, rendered by the Umuahia division of the Federal High Court wherein it also found that the INEC Chairman did not breach any law in the declaration of his assets.
That case went on appeal and in July, 2021 the Court of Appeal dismissed the appeal against the High Court judgment and affirmed that Prof. Yakubu did not breach the law in his assets declaration.