Sowore, AAC sue BON, NEDG, others over exclusion from debate
The African Action Congress (AAC) and its presidential candidate, Mr. Omoyele Sowore, have filed a suit at a High Court of the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), Abuja, over the exclusion of Sowore and the party’s vice presidential candidate, Dr. Rabiu Rufai, from the presidential election debate.
The suit, filed against the National Election Debate Group (NEDG), Broadcasting Organisations of Nigeria (BON) and the chairman of BON and CEO of Channels Television alleged discrimination and malice against the party and its candidates.
The legal action, instituted yesterday by the Legal Adviser of the party and Deputy National Secretary of the AAC, Dr. Joshua Adeoye, is seeking the declaration of the court that the deployment of state media apparatus, including the National Television Authority (NTA), Radio Nigeria and the Voice of Nigeria (VON), by organisers of the debate to the advantage of five selected political parties and the disadvantage of the AAC and Sowore is contrary to Section 100 (2) of the Electoral Act 2000 (as amended).
The applicants, in suit No: CV/652/18, also asked the court to declare that the AAC and Sowore are entitled to equal media time to participate in the January 19, 2019 presidential debate to propagate the manifesto of the AAC as provided for in Section 100 (3) of the Electoral Act (as amended) and the Nigerian Broadcasting Code (Sixth Edition, 2016).
Sowore and AAC also filed a motion on notice for an order of injunction restraining the NEDG, BON and John Momoh from organising or holding the January 19, 2019 presidential debate without including the AAC and Sowore among the participating parties and candidates.
Documents and affidavits, including eight exhibits, were filed accompanying the suit
When asked why AAC is seeking the legal redress while there are other parties affected in the exclusion process, the legal adviser of the party, Effiong, said parties might not be aggrieved but AAC was aggrieved to the extent of seeking a court verdict on the matter.