Two aggrieved members of the All Progressives Congress (APC) in Katsina State have asked the Federal High Court in Abuja to restrain the Independent National Electoral Commission from accepting list of candidates submitted by their party for the next general elections.
The duo, Garba Dankani and Muhammad Mainasara, aspired for the governorship and senatorial tickets respectively.
Praying the court to restrain the INEC, the plaintiffs in suit number: FHC/ABJ/CS/1035/18, alleged that the APC in Katsina State had failed to conduct ward congresses,, and therefore did not have legitimate ward executives.
They argued that the APC’s alleged failure to conduct ward congresses in the state’s 34 Local Government Areas implied that the party could not make valid nomination of candidates to INEC for the 2019 general elections in the state without first conducting valid congresses in the state.
The plaintiffs relied on the provisions of Section 85(3) of the Electoral Act, 2010 (as amended), Articles 12(12)(ii), 12(15), 12(16), 13(10), 13(12)(ii) and (iii) and 20(i)(a) as well as 20(iv)(a)(b) and (d) of the Constitution of the APC, 2014 (as amended) and the Guidelines for the Conduct of Wards, Local Government Areas and States Congresses of APC, 2018.
Dankani argued the congresses scheduled to hold on May 5, 2018 was therefore aborted and could not hold and no official of the 2nd defendant (INEC) attended the congress.
Dankani claimed that even when the ward congresses did not hold, the Ward and Local Government Congress Committee “submitted a list of purported elected delegates and acclaimed members of the All Progressives, Katsina State to the 1st defendant (APC).
The plaintiffs want the court to declare the local government and state congresses of the APC which held in Katsina State on May 12 and May 19, 2018 as null and void.
They are also seeking an order restraining APC and INEC from recognising any person or group of individuals by whatsoever name called or described as elected, ward, local government or state executive committees’ members in Katsina State pending the conduct of valid congresses in the state.
Dankani and Mainasara want the court to compel the APC to organise congresses for the state to elect principal officers of the various levels of executive committees of the party in the state, and which INEC must attend, observe and supervise.
When the case was called yesterday, the plaintiffs were represented by Olu Olanipekun, while INEC (sued as the 2nd defendant) was represented by Umar Bukar.
Though the APC, listed as the 1st defendant) was not represented by a lawyer, Justice Folashade Giwa-Ogunbanjo adjourned to November 8 for hearing.