EDO2020 Guber: Federal High Court in Abuja has been request to disqualify Osagie Izep-Iyamu as the candidate of the APC in the Edo State Election

The request is contained in a suit by the National Rescue Movement (NRM) and its candidate for the election, Stevie Nash Ozono.

Named as defendants are the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), APC, Ize – Iyamu and Gani Audu.

The report gathered was that the plaintiffs are contending that by virtue of Section 177(c) of the 1999 Constitution (as amended), Sections 31 and 153 of the Electoral Act and the Guidelines for the submission of candidates of political parties issued by INEC, it is only the political party’s National Chairman and the National Secretary who sign a letter forwarding names of the party’s candidate to INEC.

The plaintiffs however contended that it was Yobe state governor, Mai Mala Buni and John Akpan Udoedeghe, the “National Chairman of the Caretaker/Extra – Ordinary Convention Committee” and the National Secretary of the Caretaker/Extra – Ordinary Convention Committee” who signed the letter conveying the names of Osagie Ize-Iyamu and Gani Audu to the INEC as the APC governorship candidate and running mate respectively for the forthcoming Edo state governorship election.

National Rescue Movement and Ozono asked the court to determine whether after due construction of Sections 183, 222a and 223 of the 1999 Constitution INEC can can lawfully deem that the list of candidates of the APC for the Edo State gubernatorial elections to be held on September 19, 2020 has been submitted to it by virtue of the letter dated 29th June 2020 signed by John Akpan Udoedeghe and Mai Mala Buni when the said letter was signed by John Akpan Udoedeghe who is not a member of the APC?

They told the court that as a matter of fact, John Akpan Udoedeghe was expelled from the APC in 2017.

The plaintiffs asked the court to declare that APC has no candidates for the Edo State gubernatorial elections to be held on September 19, 2020 by virtue of the non – submission of her list of candidates before the deadline on 29th June 2020.

They urged the court to make an Order voiding the decision of INEC to include APC, Osagie Ize-Iyamu and Gani Audu as candidates in the gubernatorial elections pertaining to Edo State to be held on September 19, 2020.

‘’An Order disqualifying the 2nd – 4th Defendants as candidates in the gubernatorial elections pertaining to Edo State to be held on September 19, 2020.

‘’An Order nullifying the participation of the 2nd – 4th Defendants where the said election has already been conducted’’.

The plaintiffs attached a 30-paragraph of affidavit deposed to by Prince Chinedu Obi, the National Publicity Secretary of the National Rescue Movement, to their suit.

They averred ‘’that the person who signed as the said letter as the “National Chairman of the Caretaker/Extra – Ordinary Convention Committee” is the Governor of Yobe State which is one of the States of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.

‘’ That the said “National Chairman of the Caretaker/Extra – Ordinary Convention Committee” who is Mai Mala Buni was elected the Governor of Yobe State in 2019 and still occupies that office till date.

‘’That the office of National Chairman of a committee described as the “Caretaker/Extra – Ordinary Convention Committee” is not the same as the office of National Chairman of the 2nd Defendant.

‘’That Mai Mala Bunu is the Governor of Yobe State and is prohibited by the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria from occupying any other executive office whatsoever and the said prohibition is applicable to any executive office of the 2nd Defendant.

‘’That the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria prohibits Mai Mala Buni from acting as a national officer of the 2nd Defendant while also occupying the office of Governor of Yobe State.

‘’That John Akpan Udoedeghe also signed the said letter dated 29th June 2020 as the National Secretary of a committee described as the “Caretaker/Extra – Ordinary Convention Committee”.

‘’That the office of National Secretary of a committee described as the “Caretaker/Extra – Ordinary Convention Committee” is not the same as the office of National Secretary of the 2nd Defendant.

That there are many committees established by various political parties including the 2nd Defendant and the executives of these committees are different from the offices of the National Chairman and National Secretary of the political parties. ‘’That John Akpan Udoedeghe is not a member of the 2nd Defendant, having been expelled by the 2nd Defendant in 2017.

‘’That the plaintiffs complied with the provisions of the Constitution, Electoral Act and the Guidelines for the nomination of candidates issued by the 1st Defendant and there is no justification for the 1st Defendant to suspend the application of these laws to the 2nd – 4th Defendants’’.

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