In pursuant to section 77(3), 84(1) and (13) of the Electoral Act, 2022, the African Democratic Congress and Chika Emmanuel Idoko (plaintiffs) have originated a summon against the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and 36 candidates of the party in the 2023 elections.
The case filed in the Federal High Court of Nigeria in the Abuja Judicial Division holden at Abuja, Nigeria, law suit number FHC/ABJ/CS/1770/2022 demands that within ten (10) days after the service of the summons on the defendants cause an appearance to be entered for it to this summons issued.
The plaintiffs alleged that PDP submitted register of party members on the 6th of May, 2022 and conducted primary election on the 22nd, 23rd and 24th of May, 2022; the primary elections was conducted 17-19 days after submission of register of members.
Thus the party failed to submit her register of members 30 days before conduct of primary elections in Enugu state as stipulated in the Electoral Act.
Section 77 subsection 2 & 3 states, “(2) Every registered political party shall maintain a register of its members in both hard and soft copy. (3) Each political party shall make such register available to the Commission not later than 30 days before the date fixed for the party primaries, congresses or convention.
Will the PDP candidates for 2023 elections not be included in the election for failure to comply with section 77(3)?
Section 84 (13) of the Electoral Act 2022 states, “Where a political party fails to comply with the provisions of this Act in the conduct of its primaries, its candidate for election shall not be included in the election for the particular position in issue.”
Capitalizing on the alleged PDP violation and the provisions of the law, the plaintiffs, African Democratic Congress and Chika Emmanuel Idoko has applied to the Federal High Court for redress as stipulated in section 84 subsection 14.
Section 84 (14), “Notwithstanding the provisions of this Act or rules of a political party, an aspirant who complains that any of the provisions of this Act and the guidelines of a political party have not been complied with in the selection or nomination of a candidate of a political party for election, may apply to the Federal High Court for redress.”
Section 84 (15) states, “Nothing in this section shall empower the Courts to stop the holding of primaries or general elections under this Act pending the determination of a suit.
The defendants as entered in the suit are the Independent National Electoral Commission, Peoples Democratic Party, Bar. Peter Mbah, H. E Lawrence Ugwuanyi, H. E Chimaroke Nnamani, Osita Ngwu, Anayo Onwuegbu, Hon. (Dr.) Martins Oke, Hon. Ofor Chukwuegbo, Dr. Festus Uzor, Vita Abba, Hon. Cornelius Nnaji, Hon. Atigwe Simon, Hon. Nnolim Nnaji, Clifford Obe, Ede Magnus, Mbah National Okechukwu, Ugwu Chukwuemeka G. Charles, Ugwu Hillary, Obinna Ogbu, Hon. Mrs. Ngozi Ezeja, Chima Obieze, Ezeani Ezenta Ugochukwu, Amos Amadi Agbo, Vitus Ikenna Okechi, Ugwueze Amaka Catherine, Sam Ngene, Aniagu Desmond Iloabuchi, Bar. Chukwudi John Nwankwo, Ekwueme Chukwuma Martins, Onah Christian, Ugwu Uche, Eneh Jane Chinwendu, Onah Solomon, Okey Aneke, Anthony Nwankwo, Bar. Ibe Onoh, Geff Mba.
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