UPDATED: Court nullifies APC congresses to elect guber candidate in Kogi State
The Federal High Court, Abuja on Wednesday, nullified and set aside the ward and local government congresses conducted on Feb. 7 by the All Progressives Congress (APC) in Kogi.
The News Agency of Nigeria, (NAN) reports that the congresses were conducted for the purpose of nominating a governorship candidate for the November governorship election in the state.
Justice James Omotosho nullified and set aside the congresses while delivering judgment in a suit instituted by a group of aggrieved APC members led by Mr Realwan Okpanachi.
The court voided the two congresses on the grounds that they were not conducted in compliance with the Electoral Act 2022, and the constitution of the APC.
The court barred the Independent National Electoral commission, (INEC) from recognising or using the unlawful delegates list that emanated from unlawful congresses for the party for the purpose of selecting its governorship flag bearer.
Justice Omotosho ordered the APC leadership to conduct fresh congresses that would be in compliance Section 84 of the Electoral Act, 2022 and Section 13 of the party’s constitution.
The judge agreed with the plaintiffs that the APC in Kogi failed to conduct ward and local government congresses as stipulated by relevant provisions of the law.
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He also agreed with Mr Ogwu James Onoja, SAN, and counsel to the plaintiffs, that the APC breached Section 84 of the Electoral Act and Section 13 of its own constitution.
He said this was by concocting the purported list of delegates and submitting same to INEC without the knowledge of registered members of the party in the state.
The judge held that during the trial of the case, the APC failed to disclose the venues and times where the purported ward and local government congresses were held.
He said the party also failed to show the report of INEC officials that purportedly monitored the elections.
He further held that the APC failed to produce the result sheet to show the scores recorded by the participants in the purported congresses.
The judge said that the major document put at the disposal of the court to justify the conduct of the said Feb. 7 congresses, did not contain a single name of any human being.
He said it rather had signatures of imaginary participants at the purported congresses.
With the absence of names on the documents, the judge said that the exhibit was worthless and that no probate value could be attached to it because it was against Section 133 of the Evidence Act.
Earlier, the judge dismissed the preliminary objections raised by APC that the court had no jurisdiction to entertain the suit.
Plaintiffs in the suit marked FHC/ABJ/CS/329/2023 are Realwan Okpanachi, Yahaya Nuhu, Omaonu Arome, Mustapha Idoko, Aku Goodman and Abu Onechiojo.
The APC and INEC are the 1st and 2nd defendants.(NAN)
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