Politics

Senatorial candidate asks court to restrain APC from substituting him

By Olalekan Awojodu, Abuja

Hon. Samuel Onuigbo, the All Progressives  Congress’ senatorial candidate for Abia Central Senatorial district, has dragged his party, the Independent National Electoral Commission and one Hon. Emeka Atuma to court in a bid to stop his name from being replaced with another name.   

The suit dated June 21, 2022, and initially marked FHC/ABJ/CS/963/2022, was filed on behalf of Hon. Onuigbo by his counsel, Chief Emeka Obegolu SAN. 

However, the Chief Judge of the Federal High Court, Justice John Tsoho, transferred the suit to Justice Evelyn Anyadike of Federal High Court, Umuahia Division, under suit number FHC/ABJ/UM/CS/113/2022. 

By the suit, the Plaintiff wants an order of court nullifying the unilateral substitution of his name as the validly elected candidate for that of the 3rd Defendant Emeka Atuma, who never participated in the primary election of the APC for the Abia Central Senatorial District held on the 28th and 29th day of May, 2022. 

The Plaintiff is also praying the court to nullify and set aside the election result submitted to INEC on the 16th day of June, 2022, parading the name of Hon. Atuma as the candidate of APC, for the Abia Central Senatorial District. 

Hon. Onuigbo is equally seeking an order restraining INEC from recognizing Atuma, whose name was sent by the APC to the commission  as the candidate of the party for the Abia Central Senatorial District primary election held on the 28th and 29th day of May, 2022 as he (Onuigbo) was the validly declared winner of the said primary election. 

“An order mandating the APC and INEC to immediately include the name of the Plaintiff as candidate of the party, having emerged the winner of the Abia Central Senatorial District Primary Elections.

In addition, the Plaintiff wants a declaration that the combined reading of Sections 31, 33 and 84 of the Electoral Act, 2022 Article 7 (iv), (viii), (ix), (xi), Qi), (xiii), Articles 19.6 (ii), 20.3, 20.4 of the APC Constitution and Articles 19, 22(IIKA), 26(k) of the party’s Guidelines for the Nomination of Candidates for the 2023 General Elections, the party cannot validly replace the candidate that emerged from the its primary election validly conducted in compliance with the Electoral Act, the Constitution of the APC and the clear provisions of Articles 19, 22(IIA), 26(k) of the party’s Guidelines for the nomination of candidates for the 2023 general elections without the consent in writing of the candidate. 

“A declaration that by the combined reading of Section 84 of the Electoral Act, 2022, Article 7 (iv), (viii), (ix), (xi), (xii), Qdii), Articles 19.6 (ii), 20.3, 20.4 of the 1stq Defendant’s Constitution and Articles 19, 22(lIKA), 26(k) of the 1st Defendant’s Guidelines for the Nomination of Candidates for the 2023 General Elections, the National Chairman of the 1st Defendant cannot validly substitute the candidate that emerged from the Party’s primaries conducted for Abia Central Senatorial District on the 28th and 29th day of May, 2022 with another person’s name without recourse to the provisions of the law. 

“A declaration that by the combined reading of Section 84 of the Electoral Act, Article 7 {™). (viii), (ix), Qi), (xii), (xiii), Articles 19.6 (ii), 20.3, 20.4 of the 1st Defendant’s Constitution and Articles 19, 22(1IXA), 26(k) of the 1st Defendant’s Guidelines for the Nomination of Candidates for the 2023 General Elections, the 3rd Defendant who did not participate in all the processes leading to the Abia Central Senatorial District primary elections and indeed the primary elections held on the 28th and 29th day of May, 2022 cannot be validly submitted by the 1st Defendant to the 2nd Defendant as its candidate in the forthcoming general elections for Abia Central Senatorial District. 

Also, Onuigbo is asking the court to declare that, by the combined effect of Sections 31 and 33 of the Electoral Act, 2022, having been declared winner of the primary elections for Abia Central Senatorial District, he cannot be substituted by the APC without a written letter of withdrawal from him. 

“A declaration by the combined reading of S. 84 (5) (C) (ii) of the Electoral Act, Article 7 (iv), (viii), (ix), (xi), (di), (xiii), Articles 19.6 (ii), 20.3, 20.4 of the 1st Defendant’s Constitution and Articles 19, 22(IIXA), 26(k) of the 1st Defendant’s Guidelines for the Nomination of Candidates for the 2023 General Elections, the purported substitution of the Plaintiffs name with that of the 3rd Defendant (Atuma) who did not purchase the forms for Senatorial District primary elections for Abia Central, did not participate in all the processes leading to the said primaries and did not indeed participate in the primary elections conducted by the 1st defendant for Abia Central Senatorial District and the submission of the name to the 2nd Defendant by the Party Chairman of the 1st Defendant as emanating from Abia Senatorial Districts is in violation of the clear provisions of the law and therefore invalid, null and void. 

No judge has been assigned the case. 

Meanwhile, Justice Anyadike has granted leave to the Plaintiff/Applicant to serve the Originating Summons and its accompanying processes, the Motion on Notice for Interlocutory Injunction and all other process on the three Defendant/Respondents by substituted means to wit;

“By delivering the Originating Summons and its accompanying processes, the Motion on Notice for Interlocutory Injunction and all other processes in this suit at the Headquarters of APC. 

“That time is abridged to Ten (10) days from the date of service of the Originating Summons within which the Defendants/Respondents shall file and serve their Counter Affidavit to the Originating Summons. 

“That accelerated hearing is hereby ordered in this suit.

Dear readers, we really need your support to keep on serving you with authoritative, truthful, and juicy stories everyday. For your support, please reach out to the editor @[email protected]

Related Articles

Back to top button
%d bloggers like this: