By Favour Goodness
Anambra born politician and activist Ifeanyi Okonkwo has filed a suit at the Awka Federal High seeking to disqualify four political parties and their candidates from participating in the November 6 guber election in Anambra.
Those dragged to court include APGA and its candidate Chukwuma Soludo, APC and Andy Uba, YPP and Senator Ifeanyi Uba as well as PDP and Chief Valentine Ozigbo.
Also joined in the suit are the Anambra Resident Electoral Commissioner as well as the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC.
In the matter with Suit No: Fhc/Awk/Cs//71/2021 Okonkwo, a former Governorship candidate is seeking an order disqualifying the four candidates from contesting the November 6, 2021 Anambra Governorship election.
He is also seeking an order of mandatory injunction mandating INEC to delist the defendants and bar them from presentment and participation in the November 6 election.
“An order of declaration that the information contained in the affidavit presented by the four candidates to INEC Form CF 001 and other details on the nomination is false and misrepresentation of facts about their personal particulars or information of candidates.
The plaintiff is further seeking an order pursuant to Section 31(6) of the Electoral Act, 2010(as amended) disqualifying the 2nd, 4th, 6th and 8th Defendants as candidates from contesting the Anambra election.
Okonkwo, a registered voter says he is aggrieved by “the flagrant violations of the Electoral Act (2010) (as ammended) and the Nigerian constitution by the defendants.
In his statement of Claim, Okonkwo faulted the extension to the tenure of the Buni led APC Caretaker Committee after the first six months as it was not done by the NWC.
“It is on record that the appointing body, the APC National Working Committee never met again to extend the tenure of the caretaker. And acts carried out by the body has not been determined by any court.
“That the APC acting National Chairman, Mai Buni, is aware that as Executive Governor of Yobe State, he shall not during his current period in office hold any other executive office or paid employment in any capacity.
“But he sat at the helm of affairs of the APC Anambra guber primary that purportedly took place on 26/6/2021.
“That the Governor/National Chairman of APC submitted and signed the nomination of Senator Andy Uba as APC candidate for the November 6 Anambra election.
“That INEC in its report stated that APC did not hold Governoship primary election on 26/6/2021 at the date, venues and time it notified the Commission.
‘That INEC failed to comply with the Electoral Act when it Published Senator Andy Uba and the APC among the list of candidates notwithstanding the INEC report against the APC.
“That both APC and Andy Uba are unfit legally and constitutionally to participate further in the process of the November 6 Anambra Governoship election.”
For APGA, Okonkwo noted that the party did not hold special Congress in each of the Local Government Areas as stipulated by the Electoral Act.
“The party rather gathered all the four aspirants at the Late Dora Akunyili Women Development Center, Awka, in their illegal and unconstitutional party Governoship primary.”
He also argued that as a member of the Presidential Economic Advisory Council, Prof Chukwuma Soludo ought to have resigned his appointment.
He described the Council as a statutory tenured position recorgnized under the 1999 Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, Section 151 (1).
“As a member of the Presidential Economic Advisory Council Prof Soludo is a public officer up till the 23/6/2021 when he contested as the winner of APGA, Anambra State Governorship candidate.”
For Ifeanyi Ubah and YPP, Okonkwo argued that a Lawmaker at the state or National Assembly seeking nomination for governor ought to resign or take leave of absence.
“That a member of the National Assembly aspiring to contest in party primary election for Governorship candidate, a statutory office tenured as the membership of State National and State Assemblies, which is constructively and constitutionally different from standing for re election in National or State Assemblies is mandatory required to either resign, withdraw or retire from such parliamentary positions; or take leave of absence without pay at least 30 days before standing for the party Governorship primary.”
Ifeanyi Okonkwo is also challenging PDP’s nomination process which threw up Chief Valentine Ozigbo insisting that the process contravenes sections of the Electoral Law.
The matter comes up Oct 26 at the Awka Federal High Court.