BREAKING!!! Political Parties Drag INEC to Court Over ‘Illegal’ Directive

Following the directive of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to political parties not to campaign ahead of the February 23 Presidential and National Assembly elections, the Coalition of United Political Parties (CUPP) has formally dragged the commission before a Federal High Court sitting in Abuja

This is coming barely 24hours after the Coalition, on Sunday, directed its members to resume campaigns immediately despite INEC’s directive.

The Collation had, in a statement signed by its Spokesperson, Ikenga Ugochinyere, alleged that the directive by INEC contravenes Electoral Acts, which according to the CUPP, stipulates that political parties have until 48 hours to election day to end campaigns.

However, in another release by the group on Monday, Ugochinyere says the CUPP had approached the court to protect its campaign resumption activities from any interference or interruption by institutions such as the NBC, Nigerian Army, DSS or the Police.

In a suit filled on behalf of the opposition CUPP by Ikenga Ugochinyere who doubles as Spokesperson for the coalition and National Chairman of the Action Peoples Party (APP), the group is seeking for an exparte order to be issued today restraining INEC from interfering with the Opposition Parties’ Campaign until the midnight of 21st Feb 2019.

In the five page documents sighted by Igbere TV on Monday, the opposition CUPP is asking the Court: (1). “Whether having regard to the combined effect of the mandatory statutory provisions of Sections 99(1), 100(1) and 101(1) of the Electoral Act, 2010 (as Amended), INEC can validly issue any directive or make any order stopping, barring or ending campaign by registered political parties, including the Plaintiff APP, for the 2019 General Elections to a period other than 24 hours prior to the date of the elections”, and; (2.) “Whether by Sections 99(1), 100(1) and 101(1) of the Electoral Act, 2010 (as Amended) the announcement, directive or order by INEC directing registered political parties, including the APP, to stop or end their campaign for the 2019 General Elections on 14th February, 2019 for polls that will hold on 23rd February, 2019 is not ultra vires its powers, illegal, null, void and of no effect whatsoever”.

The CUPP is therefore seeking for a declaration that: (1). INEC cannot issue any directive or make any order stopping, barring or ending campaign by registered political parties, including the APP, for the 2019 General Elections to a period other than 24 hours prior to the date of the elections; (2). The announcement, directive or order by INEC directing political parties, including the APP, to stop or end their campaign for the 2019 General Elections on 14th February, 2019 for polls that will hold on 23rd February, 2019 is ultra vires its powers, illegal, null, void and of no effect whatsoever; and, (3). In view of the postponement of the 2019 Presidential and National Assembly Elections till 23rd February, 2019, APP Party and indeed all registered political parties in Nigeria are legally entitled, pursuant to Sections 99(1), 100(1) and 101(1) of the Electoral Act, 2010 (as Amended), to resume forthwith and/or recommence campaign until 21st February, 2019 been 24 hours prior the date of the election.

It was reported that INEC Chairman, Prof. Mahmood Yakubu, on Saturday, during a meeting with stakeholders in Abuja, announced that the window for campaign remains closed, in accordance with the existing INEC’s February 14 time table.

Yakubu had on the early hours of Saturday cited “logistics and operational problems” to postpone the February 16 Presidential and National Assembly elections to February 23, while that of Governorship and States House of Assembly elections was rescheduled for March 9.

Be the first to comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.