A High Court of the Federal Capital Territory has quashed the allegations of fabricated false assets declaration against the Chairman of the Independent National Electoral Commission, Prof. Mahmood Yakubu.
The Court went ahead to bar security agencies from investigating him over his valid assets declaration.
In an Originating Summons marked FCT/HC/GAR/CV/47/2022 by Somadina Uzoabaka against the Attorney General of the Federation and the Prof. Mahmood Yakubu, the Claimant 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.
Prof Yakubu who counter-claimed against the Claimant 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.
But in a judgment by Justice M. A. Hassan, he 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 trial judge declined to grant any of the 14-prayers of the claimant and declared that the INEC Chairman cannot be removed over fabricated allegations of false assets declaration.
Justice Hassan therefore dismissed the claims of the claimant and allowed the counter-claim of the INEC Chairman.
While fielding questions from journalists, counsel to the INEC Chairman, Emeka Obegolu, SAN, said “by this judicial victory yet again, it is expected that there will be respite for the INEC Chairman to focus his attention on the conduct of the 2023 general elections and for those reportedly insisting on his leaving office because of the decision to use the BVAS machine for the election, to use the remainder of the days to campaign. As the court has just declared, Prof. Mahmood goes nowhere.”
It will be recalled that the Federal High Court sitting in Umuahia in March 2021 delivered a judgment 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.