Nigeria: Assets Declaration – Court Stops Probe, Arrest of INEC Chairman

Moves to remove the chairman of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), Prof Mahmood Yakubu from office, failed yesterday as the High Court of the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) Garki, quashed the allegations of false assets declaration against him.

The court barred 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 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 plaintiff also sought an order of court stopping the INEC chairman from holding or assuming any public office for a period of 10 years.

Yakubu, who in his response to the allegation furnished the court with several exhibits to show the sources of money for the purchase of the properties which the plaintiff alleged were illegally acquired and insisted that his assets declarations were validly done.

In the judgment, Justice M. A. 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 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.

The judge therefore dismissed the claims of the claimant and allowed the counter-claim of the INEC chairman.

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