APC seeks joinder in suit against INEC
THE All Progressives Congress (APC) on Tuesday applied to join as a co-defendant in a suit filed at the Federal High Court in Lagos by the Unity Party of Nigeria (UPN) against the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC).
UPN is praying Justice Okon Abang to compel the electoral umpire to list its presidential standard bearer and other candidates for the March 28 and April 11 general elections.
The matter was initially scheduled for hearing of the motion on notice filed by the UPN against INEC, but APC’s team of lawyers, including Kola Awodein (SAN), EmekaNgige (SAN) and FunkeAboyade (SAN;) appeared in court with the motion for joinder.
They had stated that as a major political party in Nigeria, any decision in the matter may affect its interest, hence the motion for joinder.
The apprehension by APC may not be unconnected with allegation that UPN was being sponsored by the PDP to ensure that the already postponed elections were shifted again.
When the matter came up on Tuesday, INEC, through its counsel, JesintaKelechukwu, said the commission had nothing against APC’s motion to join the suit, adding that it was within the liberty of the party to do so.
But UPN’s counse,l AkinwaleEkunusi, said he would be vehemently opposing the application by APC, adding that the issue was strictly between his client and INEC.
Justice Abang, in a short ruling, held that the APC’s application would be determined first before the main suit is heard.
The judge had stated thus: “It is my view that time is of essence and the matter is hereby adjourned to March 20, 2015 for hearing of the APC’s application.”
UPN’s presidential candidate, Helen Godswill, had filed the suit alongside other candidates of the party over the non-publication of their names as candidates for the forthcoming general elections.
Godswill, who initiated the action alongside the party and its other candidates, had accused INEC of failing to publish her name and those of others as required by Section 34 of the Electoral Act.
The UPN presidential candidate personally deposed to an affidavit in support of the suit wherein she recalled that despite the fact that INEC monitored the primary elections conducted by the party to select candidates for various elective positions, the Commission nonetheless failed to publish their names for the election, thereby disqualifying UPN candidates from participating in the forthcoming general elections.
The other applicants in the suit, who emerged as UPN candidates for elections into Federal House of Representatives and State Houses of Assembly are AdewaleArogundade, Ganiyat Durowoju Folawewo, TaofeekAdedoyinAdeniyi, Augustine OlatundeOmilabu, Henry Ayoola Abimbola, Olufemi Ajayi Gregory, Towobola Adeola Adebowale, Eberechukwu Orehewere and Ekeata Lydia Onwordi.
Others are Chukwuma ChristopherEgbukichi, Samuel AyodejiAjaka, Ganiyat OlabisiAgboola, Ramota AfolashadeRaji, Ramon Oreoluwa Ajanosi and Hakeem Kehinde Olaribigbe.
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