Zamfara: APC seeks perpetual injunction against INEC
• Court Fixes Dec 11 For Hearing, Joins Marafa, Siraju, Others
The All Progressives Congress (APC) has asked the Federal High Court, Abuja, to grant an order of perpetual injunction against the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC).
The order being sought was to restrain INEC from giving effect to the contents of a letter tagged lNEC/SEC/654/1/330, dated October 9 and issued in respect of the 2019 general elections.
The said letter contained an administrative decision taken by INEC, barring Zamfara APC from fielding any candidate in the 2019 general elections for failing to conduct party primaries within the stipulated time. Meanwhile, the presiding judge, Justice Ijeoma Ojukwu, yesterday, joined a governorship aspirant, Senator Garba Marafa, a senatorial aspirant, Siraju as well as seven other APC chieftains in the suit as defendants.
In the suit marked FHC/ABJ/CS/1279/2018, APC wants the court to declare that INEC’s letter purporting to exclude the party from presenting and submitting the list of its candidates for the forthcoming election in Zamfara state scheduled for 2019 is null, void, ultra vires and of no effect, having regards to the provisions of sections 31(1) and 86(2), (3) and (4) of the Electoral Act 2010 (as amended).
The party is also praying for “a declaration that by virtue of section 36(1) of the 1999 Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria (as amended) and section 31(1) of the Electoral Act (as amended), the defendant lacks the power to refuse to collect the name of the plaintiff’s candidates for Zamfara state presented and to be submitted to it not later than 60 days before the election scheduled for February 2019.
“A declaration that the administrative decision communicated in the defendant’s letter with Ref No. lNEC/SEC/654/1/330 dated 9/10/2018 is null and void, having been taken without fair hearing or giving the plaintiff an opportunity to give clarification in accordance with section 86(2) of the Electoral Act.
“A declaration that by the provisions of Article 20 of the Constitution of the All Progressives Congress (as amended); section 223 of the 1999 constitution (as amended), the defendant is bound to give recognition to the list of the plaintiff candidates for Zamfara state and accept the names to be forwarded to the defendant by the plaintiff for the 2019 General Elections in Zamfara state under the platform of the All Progressive Congress (APC).”
The party is also seeking an order of court mandatorily compelling the defendant to accept the names of the plaintiff candidates for all the various offices scheduled to be contested in the forthcoming February 2019 general elections in respect of Zamfara state and to be conducted by the defendant.
“An order mandatorily compelling the defendant to publish the names of the plaintiff’s candidates for Zamfara state sent to it by giving same recognition and according to the various persons and candidates named therein, the various rights and privileges that ensure in favour of the candidates nominated by political parties for the governorship, National and State Assembly constituency and Senatorial Districts of Zamfara state.”
Among the four questions raised before the court for determination include are, whether, having regards to the provisions of section 36(1) of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria 1999 (as amended), and section 80 of the Electoral Act, 2010 (as amended), the defendant herein can prevent and preclude the plaintiff from presenting candidates for the forthcoming general election scheduled for February next year in Zamfara state without affording the plaintiff a right of fair hearing before reaching a decision to exclude the plaintiff’s candidates in Zamfara state from contesting in the general election for the positions of Governorship, National Assembly and State Assembly respectively.
Meanwhile, the matter has been adjourned till December 11 for hearing.