Court asked to set aside nomination of Soludo as Anambra APGA candidate

July 7, 2021
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Court asked to set aside nomination of Soludo as Anambra APGA candidate

Posted by News Express | 7 July 2021 | 173 times

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•Forner CBN governor, Charles Soludo

By GODWIN TSA, Abuja

The controversy trailing the nomination of a former governor of the Central

Bank of Nigeria (CBN), Prof Charles Soludo, as the flag bearer of the All

Progressive Grand Alliance (APGA), for the November 6 governorship election

in Anambra State, has resulted into a lawsuit filed before the Abuja

division of the Federal High Court.

In the originating summons, a chieftain of the party, Okoye Nwabuogo, is

seeking an order of court setting aside the election and nomination of

Soludo as the party’s candidate for the November election.

The suit dated July 6, 2021, and filed the same day by counsel to the

plaintiff, Okoro Nkemakolam, is further seeking an order restraining Soludu

from parading himself as the validly or duly elected candidate of the party

for the said election.

It is the case of the plaintiff, who is a card-carrying member of the party

and a registered voter, that the statutory 21 days notice was not given to

INEC by the party, prior to the holding of the special ward congress, held

on June 15, 2021, for the election of ad hoc delegates for the nomination

of the party’s governorship candidate for the Anambra State gubernatorial

election scheduled to hold on November 6. 2021.

Listed as defendants in the pre-election suit are All Progressive Grand

Alliance, Prof Charles Soludo and the Independent National Electoral

Commission (INEC).

While urging the court to invalidate and set aside the entire primary

election of the party held on June 23, the plaintiff is equally seeking an

order of injunction restraining the Independent National Electoral

Commission (INEC, listed as 3rd defendant), from accepting the name of or

recognising Prof Soludo (the 2nd Defendant), as the candidate of APGA (the

1st defendant), for the Anambra State gubernatorial general election

scheduled to hold on November 6, 2021.

She is also seeking an order of the court restraining the party from

holding out or in any manner howsoever and/or according to Soludo the

rights or privileges as its validly or duly elected candidate for the

November 6, 2021 governorship election in the state.

In addition, she is further seeking a declaration that the party, is

mandatorily required, given the provision of Section 85(1) of the Electoral

Act, 2010 (as amended) to give to the 3rd defendant (INEC), the compulsory

21days statutory notice prior to the holding of the special ward congress,

held on June 15, 2021, for the election of ad hoc delegates for the

nomination of its governorship candidate for the Anambra State

gubernatorial election scheduled to hold on November 6.

A declaration that the election of 812 delegates as against the 978

delegates, as provided for in Article 11(5)(vii) of the APGA Constitution

2019, to be ad hoc delegates, to elect the governorship candidate of the

party, is illegal, unlawful, invalid, null and void.

She formulated the following questions for determination by the court:

‘Whether given the clear and unambiguous provisions of Section 85(1) of the

Electoral Act, 2010 (as amended), the 3rd Defendant can, in the light of

its two separate letters dated 18th June 2021 with REF:

INEC/DEPM/UPMM/1/145 and REF: INEC/DEPM/CWO/040/11/304 which disclosed that

APGA (1st Defendant), failed to give it, the mandatory 21days statutory

notice, prior to the holding of the special ward congress, on 15th day of

June 2021, for the election of ad hoc delegates for the nomination of the

1st Defendant’s governorship candidate for the Anambra State gubernatorial

election scheduled to hold on November 6. 2021, lawfully recognise, deal

with and give effect to the nomination of the 2nd Defendant through the

primary election of the 1st defendant held on 23rd June 2021 as the 1st

Defendant’s candidate for the said governorship election.

Whether given the clear provisions of Article 11(5)(vii) of the APGA

Constitution 2019, which provides for the election of three delegates per

ward, to be ad hoc delegates, to elect the governorship candidate of the

party, the party can lawfully proceed to elect only two delegates in

violation of it constitution.

Whether the primary election of the 1st Defendant held on 23rd June 2021

for the purpose of electing the 1st Defendant’s candidate for Anambra State

gubernatorial general election scheduled to hold on November 6. 2021 is not

invalidated by reason of the 1st Defendant’s non-compliance with the

mandatory provision of Section 85(1) of the Electoral Act, 2010(as

amended), and Article (5)(vii) of the APGA Constitution, 2019.’

In a 31-paragraphs affidavit in support of the originating summons, the

plaintiff averred:

‘That in the said letters the 3rd Defendant expressly stated that the 1st

defendant failed to give the mandatory/compulsory 21days statutory notice

prior to the holding of the special ward congress held on 15th day of June

2021, for the election of ad hoc delegates for the nomination of the 1st

Defendant’s governorship candidate for the Anambra State gubernatorial

election scheduled to hold on November 6. 2021 and as such the 3rd

Defendant did not monitor the said ward congresses and cannot attest if the

purported ad hoc Delegates are products of a democratic process.

‘That she knows as a matter of fact that notwithstanding the failure to

communicate to the 3rd Defendant within the mandatory 21 days, the date for

the conduct of the special ward congress, the 1st Defendant held its

primary election on 23rd June 2021 utilising an ad hoc Delegate list of the

purported special Ward Congress wherein the 2nd Defendant purportedly

emerged as the flagbearer and forwarded the name of the 2nd Defendant who

was enthroned in the said congresses to the 3rd Defendant.

‘That the 3rd Defendant as an umpire rather than intervene to stop the 1st

Defendant from further perpetuating illegality in the light of the two

separate letters dated 18th June 2021 with REF: INEC/DEPM/UPMM/1/145 and

REF: INEC/DEPM/CWO/040/11/304, proceeded to issue a certificate of return

to the 2nd Defendant, thereby lawfully accepting, dealing with and

recognising the 2nd defendant as the validly nominated candidate of the 1st

defendant for the Anambra State gubernatorial general election scheduled to

hold on November 6. 2021.

‘That she knows as a matter of fact that the primary election of the 1st

Defendant, was not conducted in accordance with the law, and will likely

prejudice the chances of her party winning the gubernatorial election,

except this Honourable Court intervenes as a matter of urgency.

‘The plaintiff stated that the 1st Defendant failed to comply with the

provisions of its constitution in the conduct of the special congress held

on the 15th day of June 2021 to elect ad hoc delegates for the purposes of

electing the candidate/flagbearer of the 1st defendant in the Anambra State

gubernatorial general election scheduled to hold on November 6, 2021.

‘That there are 326 wards in Anambra State and that as a matter of fact,

there ought to be three delegates from each ward, bringing the total number

of delegates 978, which is not inclusive of statutory delegates.

‘That she knows as a matter of fact that the list submitted by the 1st

Defendant to the 3rd Defendant has only 812 names as against the 978

delegates.

‘That she knows as a matter of fact, that by the constitution of the APGA,

three persons were to be elected in the said special congress and not two

persons as was done by the 1st Defendant in the said special congress, held

on the 15th day of June 2021.

‘That the 3rd Defendant will continue to recognise, deal with and give

effect to the nomination of the 2nd Defendant through the primary election

of the 1st defendant held on 23rd June 2021 as the 1st Defendant’s

candidate for the said governorship election unless restrained by the Court.

‘That the 2nd Defendant will continue to hold himself with rights or

privileges as the validly or duly elected candidate of the 1st defendant

for the Anambra State gubernatorial general election scheduled to hold on

November 6, 2021, having been recognised by the 3rd Defendant unless

restrained by the court.

‘That her interest as a member of the 1st Defendant will be highly

prejudiced except by the urgent intervention of this Honourable Court.

‘That she had invested her resources and goodwill in the 1st Defendant, and

knows as a matter of fact, that except by the urgent intervention of this

Honourable Court, the goodwill of the party will be totally destroyed and

her goodwill and resources lost.’

Meanwhile, the suit is yet to be assigned to a judge for adjudication.

(Daily Sun)

Source: News Express


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