…Court orders INEC to respond to suit seeking to disqualify him

The All Progressuves Congress (APC) inadvertently complicates its flagbearer Gov Bola Tinubu’s quest for president in the forthcoming elections.

A Federal High Court today dealt a blow to the campaign by allowing a new legal challenge to Tinubu’s qualification to proceed.

The court directed Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to respond to a request to have Tinubu’s name scratched from list of candidates.

Federal High Court Judge Ahmed Mohammed directed INEC Chairman, Prof Mahmood Yakubu, to enter an appearance in the matter.

He equally handed down similar orders to both the APC and its candidate today, 9 November 2022.

The petitioner is listed in court records as the Incorporated Trustees of Kingdom Human Rights Foundation International.

The NGO alleged in Suit No. FHC/ABJ/CS/1960/2022 that Mr. Tinubu breached Section 90(3) of the Electoral Act 2022.

They said that the section, when read alongside Section 84(13), proves that INEC shouldn’t recognize Tinubu as a candidate.

Section 90(3) of the Act forbids a political party from accepting “any monetary or other contribution which is more than N50,000,000 unless it can identify the source of the money or other contribution to the Commission.”

Additionally, Section 84(13) demands removal of a candidate from the election if his political party failed to comply with the law in conducting its primaries.

The APC advertised N100 million as fee for expression of interest and nomination fees to be paid by members that wanted to run for President.

Some APC aspirants flaunted their receipts of payment in the media to showcase readiness to bid for the highest office.

The opposition Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) however played safe by pegging its nomination form at N40m.

Consequently, the petitioner requested that Tinubu should be “automatically excluded, expunged, and removed from participating in the 2023 presidential election.”

This is because, according to them, APC did not comply with the mandatory provisions of the Electoral Act while nominating him as candidate.

They therefore asked the Court to compel INEC to to remove Tinubu’s name from the final list of 2023 presidential election candidates.

They also requested an order from the Court declaring Tinubu’s nomination by the APC as “illegal, null and void.”

“Citizens and civil society organisations support the government in the fight against corruption through a public interest suit of this nature.

“This application is in the overall public interest to promote good governance, public accountability, constitutional democracy and rule of law in nomination of candidates to contest the office of the President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria which is a public office,” it added.

The judge directed INEC Chairman, APC and Tinubu, to enter their defence before the court reconvenes on 15 November 2022.

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