From Godwin Tsa, Abuja
Ahead of the National Convention of the ruling All Progressive Congress (APC) scheduled to hold on Saturday, the opposition Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) has asked the Abuja Division of the Federal High Court to declare the planned exercise unconstitutional and illegal.
In addition, the PDP is equally seeking an order of the court de-registering the APC as a political party, having failed to meet the requirements of sections 222(a), 223(b) and 225 of the 1999 Constitution.
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It further asked the court for an order of perpetual injunction restraining the Independent National Electoral Commission(INEC) from recognising, communicating with, dealing with or having any business whatsoever with the APC as a registered political party.
In a suit marked FHC/ABJ/CS/ 389 2022, and dated March 25, 2022, the PDP listed the Independent National Electoral Commission(INEC), the All Progressives Congress(APC), the Caretaker/Extraordinary Convention Planning Committee(CECPC) and the Chairman of the APC Caretaker/Extraordinary Convention Planning Committee as defendants.
In the suit filed by its counsel, Samuel Irabor, it is the case of the plaintiff that by a certified true copy of INEC’s list of APC’s current Exco, the party is been run by a 13 members Exco which is below the constitutional stipulations in Section 223 of the 1999 constitution that the Exco or Governing body of a political party must be drawn from 2/3 of the 36 states of Nigeria which is mathematically 24.
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The PDP is therefore urging the court to declare all the prior acts of the Mai Mala Buni led caretaker committee leading to the institution of the suit as well as all subsequent acts, including the convention of March 26 as null and void and proceed further to order a de-registration of the APC by INEC in line with Section 225A of the 1999 constitution.
In the originating summons brought pursuant to order 3, rules 6 of the Federal High Court Rules, the party urged the court to determine “whether upon a calm consideration of section 223(2)(b) of the 1999 Constitution, the leadership of the APC (2nd defendants) can be made up of only 13 members as presently constituted by the chairman of the CECPC and forwarded/registered with the 1st defendant (INEC) and if the answer is in the negative, whether the APC has any valid leadership so called, forwarded /registered with INEC in compliance with section 223(1) of the 1999 constitution and whether any act done by the said leadership is valid and founded in law.
“ If the answer to the 2nd and 3rd legs of the issue in the above paragraph is further in the negative, whether the APC is not liable to be de-registered as a political party pursuant to section 222(a), 223(2)(b) and 225(A) of the 1999 Constitution. A declaration that by the express provisions of section 223(2)(b) of the 1999 Constitution, the leadership of the APC cannot be made up of only 13 members as presently constituted by the chairman of the CECPC and forwarded /registered with INEC.
“A declaration that all the prior actions and subsequent actions undertaken by the defendants are null void and of no effect.”